Trump receiving updates explosion in Philippines

Tourists flock to the complex for its casino, cinema and stores, which include several Western retailers such as Hugo Boss, Lacoste and Kate Spade.

The unrest in Marawi had sparked fears that militants might attack elsewhere to divert the focus of thousands of troops trying to quell the siege.

Resorts World Manila is an integrated resort located in Newport City opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

Consular officials at the Australian Embassy in Manila are making urgent enquiries to determine if any Australians have been affected by the attack at Resorts World.

Smoke was seen billowing from the upper story of the complex's hotel wing hours after the initial assault as police worked to clear the resort room by room.

Dela Rosa described the gunman as "foreign-looking, a Caucasian, about six feet tall" and said he spoke English. Smoke is still coming out of the buildings. Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa, the head of the national police, said a security video indicated the motive might have been robbery. "We urge USA citizens in Manila to contact family members and loved ones to notify them that you are safe".

The SITE Intelligence Group, a USA terrorism monitor, said an Islamic State-linked Filipino operative who provides daily updates on the ongoing clashes in Marawi, claimed that "lone wolf soldiers" of the Islamic State group were responsible for the attack at Resorts World Manila. "He parked at the second floor and barged into the casino, shooting large TV screens and poured gasoline on a table setting it on fire", he said.

Gunfire and explosions have been heard at the Resorts World Manila in the Philippines, CNN Philippines reported.

"We ask for your prayers during these hard times", it wrote on Twitter.

A casino worker from the third floor, named Julio, told DZMM radio he heard many gunshots and saw people running up the stairs from the second floor.

Shortly after the incident began, the US State Department warned citizens to avoid the area. Trump said he was "closely monitoring the situation" and would continue to provide updates.

Trump said Thursday that "It is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror".

Social media was abuzz with pictures showing plumes of smoke emanating from the Resort World Manila, which is close to the city's airport. On May 23, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao to combat what he said was a rebellion by Islamic State radicals in that southern Philippines island.

  • Leroy Wright