Sunday , June 24, 2018

US, UK, Australia warn citizens after Resorts World attack

THE United States (US), United Kingdom and Australian governments issued separate travel advisories on Friday, June 2, urging their citizens to exercise caution following the attack that left 37 people dead at Resorts World Manila.

A gunman stormed the Resorts World Manila and torched gambling tables in the crowded area on Friday before dawn, June 2. Aside from 37 fatalities, dozens were injured.

The resort hotel is located in Newport City, opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

READ: Several people hurt in Manila resort hotel blast, shooting

In a statement posted on its website, the US Embassy advised American citizens to "exercise caution and review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates."

US citizens were also advised to heed any instructions given by local authorities.

US President Donald Trump earlier offered prayers for the American people in the Philippines following the attack at Resorts World. He also condoled with families of the victims.

"It is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror," Trump said from the White House Rose Garden. He said he was "closely monitoring the situation" and would continue to provide updates.

The United Kingdom, meanwhile, advised its citizens to "avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities."

British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad said in his tweet that there were no Britons harmed in the incident.

Ahmad also urged all British nationals in the Philippines to contact their relatives and friends.

The Australian government, in a statement posted on its website, told its citizens to exercise heightened caution, be vigilant about their surroundings, and monitor the media for information that may have impact on their security.

"Some flights have been redirected from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, contact your airline or tour provider for latest information on flight disruptions," the Australian government said.

It also reminded travelers of the "high terrorist attack in the Philippines, including Manila."

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa said Friday that the lone gunman who fired shots inside Resorts World Manila was found dead.

Dela Rosa said the suspect wrapped his body in a blanket and burned himself to death at the hotel's room 510.

The gunman stole gambling chips, shot TV screens and set gambling tables ablaze. It was not clear how he smuggled gasoline and an assault rifle into the crowded casino, but the assailant did not fire at people he encountered.

READ: PNP: Resorts World gunman burned self to death

The PNP said the motive in the attack was not terrorism, but robbery.

"He would have shot all the people gambling there" if it had been terrorism, Dela Rosa said. "But he did not hurt anyone," he added.

He stressed that there is no evidence to support a claim of terrorism. (Jo Ann Sablad/SunStar Philippines)