Panic took over the public before dawn on Friday, following a shooting spree by what authorities believed to be a lone gunman at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
At least 37 have died mostly due to suffocation, while 54 were injured after some people jumped out from as high as the third floor of the building to escape, GMA News Online reports.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa confirmed that the perpetrator was among those who died. The suspect reportedly set himself on fire in one of the establishment’s rooms.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) claims responsibility for the attack. However, Dela Rosa flatly denied this, saying it was not an act of terrorism but possibly more of a robbery case.
Resorts World Manila is currently under lockdown due to the incident.
Needless to say, we all know this isn’t the first time IS—whether true or not—has admitted to these kinds of incidents. Here is a list of local and international attacks that the terrorist organization has claimed or is somewhat involved in:
1) Marawi Siege (2017)
Early last week, an armed encounter between joint government forces and the local Maute group sparked the conflict, where the latter took over the city and hoisted IS flags.
Due to this, President Rodrigo Dutere declared martial law in Mindanao. The clash is still ongoing; at least 164 people have already been killed. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, has repeatedly stated they are in full control of the situation.
2) Manchester Arena Bombing (2017)
At least 22 people perished, while over 50 others were hurt during an Ariana Grande concert after an explosion rocked the London stadium, a day before the situation in Mindanao escalated.
3) Basilan Clash (2016)
Last year, soldiers from the AFP and an estimated 100 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group engaged in armed combat in the province of Basilan.
The body count was around 23, including 18 soldiers and five terrorists. IS claimed the attack, but their claims were later doubted since there was no evidence of direct links between the foreign and Filipino terrorist groups at the time.
4) Brussels Bombing (2016)
Chaos consumed Belgium last year after three suicide bombers blew themselves up, taking 32 lives and injuring over 250 others at the Brussels airport and the Maalbek metro station.
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center's North and South towers in New York City is probably considered as the mother of all recent terror cases. More than a decade after, this one incident still strikes fear into everyone's hearts.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed, while over 6,000 others were hurt during the incident, which is now referred to as “9/11.”
While Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda took responsibility for the catastrophe, most of the initial members of ISIS have pledged allegiance to, or actually hailed from the terror network.
It’s sad how some people could resort to extreme violence to harm other innocent lives. Based on these tragedies, it’s clear that IS won’t stop wreaking mayhem any time soon. As citizens, we can’t fight back directly, but we can definitely contribute by doing the following:
-Don’t give in to fear; this is their goal
-Don’t immediately assume or believe that all attacks are done by IS, even if they’ve already claimed responsibility
-Don’t spread unverified information on social media about IS that will further cause panic and misinformation
-Get updates directly from government sites and legitimate news outfits to prevent being part of the IS propaganda that spreads fake news to sow fear in the public