New Delhi : Terrorist outfit Islamic State has claimed the Philippines casino attack that killed at least 37 people. However, cops have been denying terror links.
Lone gunman on Friday stormed into the casino and started firing from an assault rifle and torched gambling tables.
It is believed that most of the victims inside the casino died of suffocation due to fire, said the police officials.
Islamic State, on the other hand, released a statement claiming that its "fighters carried out" the attack. However, the militant group didn't release names or pictures of the "soldiers" who carried out that attack, which it usually does.
Cops rejected the claim and said there is 'no truth' in this.
"They can always claim whatever they want to claim," said Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde.
Police said repeatedly that the attack was not related to terrorism. The armed suspect forced his way into the casino around midnight, said witnesses and police.
According to security footage viewed by police, the gunman entered via the parking lot. Police later searched a car and found registration information which they didn't make public.
The attacker walked into the building, past a lone security guard who panicked when she saw the suspect's automatic rifle, a police official said.
The footage showed guests frantically running for the exits, the sound of gunshots and smoke coming from the upper floors of buildings.
Hours later, the police confirmed the gunman had committed suicide by setting himself on fire. He was found in the room, burned beyond recognition, next to a machine gun and a .380 calibre pistol.
(with IANS inputs)
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