The death toll from Friday’s attack on Resorts World Manila has risen to 38, including the attacker who is reported to have set himself on fire in a hotel room.
CNN Philippines reports that the lone gunman entered the casino of the integrated resort yesterday evening, firing shots and pouring gasoline over the gaming tables, before setting light to them.
Thirty-seven people are now known to have died in the attack, the majority of whom suffered from smoke inhalation. Twenty-two of the victims were guests at the resort, while 13 staff members also died. A further 18 people were hospitalised and 54 suffered minor injuries.
The attacker was later found in a hotel room; officials said he set himself alight before shooting himself.
“He lit himself on fire in hotel room 510. He lay down in bed, covered himself in a thick blanket, doused himself in gasoline,” the Philippines’ National Police chief director-general, Ronald de la Rosa, was quoted saying, adding that a machine gun and pistol were found next to the body.
De la Rosa also confirmed authorities’ belief that the attacker was not a terrorist, but a “deranged man”. This comes despite the initial fear that the attack was carried out by the Islamic State (IS) group. IS itself has claimed responsibility for the incident.
The Philippines’ National Security Adviser, Hermogenes Esperon Jr, urged people not to spread “false rumours, like claiming that the Resorts World [incident] is terror-related”.
The UNWTO said it “strongly condemns” the attack and offered its “heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and to the Filipino people”.
“The Philippines is one of the most consolidated tourism destinations in the world. We are fully confident that this will continue to be the case and we look forward to meet in Manila next 21 June,” said UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai. “This will be the best expression of support and union against these hideous acts.”
Resorts World Manila opened in 2009 and comprises a vast range of tourism facilities, including four hotels with more than 1,500 hotel rooms, a large casino, a shopping mall, a 1,500-seat theatre and extensive conference and banqueting space.