Update: Casualties reported after gunshots and explosions at Philippines hotel and casino

Update 9.53pm: Gunshots and explosions rang out in the early hours of Friday at a shopping centre, hotel and casino complex near Manila's international airport in the Philippines capital, sparking a security alert amid an ongoing Muslim militant siege in the country's south.

Police rushed to the Resorts World Manila complex after gunshots were heard at the complex, where smoke began billowing from an upper floor of the mall.

There were reports of injuries from witnesses, including a Swat member who went to the scene and was reportedly fired upon by unidentified men.

Resorts World Manila said on its Facebook page that it was "currently on lockdown following reports of gunfire from unidentified men," adding "the company is working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe".

"We ask for your prayers during these difficult times," the company said.

Police have not given details about the incident but have begun cordoning off the area near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Armed security officers and onlookers gather outside a hotel at the Resorts World Manila complex. Picture: (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
Armed security officers and onlookers gather outside a hotel at the Resorts World Manila complex. Picture: (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

"I heard many, many gunshots," Julio Silva, a witness who managed to dash out of the mall complex, told the DZMM radio network.

The incident is unfolding amid a 10-day deadly siege by Muslim militants aligned to the Islamic State (IS) group in the southern city of Marawi.

The attack has sparked fears that the militants may attack elsewhere to divert the focus of thousands of troops trying to quell the siege.

The Site Intelligence Group, a US terrorism monitor, said an IS-linked Filipino operative who provides daily updates on the ongoing clashes in Marawi claimed that "lone wolf soldiers" of the IS group are responsible for the attack at Resorts World Manila.

An English message by the operative was distributed across several pro-IS Telegram chat groups, Site said.

According to Site, he wrote: "The lone wolf soldiers of Khilafah attack the heart of Kufar the city of Manila in Resort World."

US president Donald Trump said his "thoughts are prayers" were with those affected.

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

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Trump said he is "closely monitoring the situation" and will continue to provide updates

Earlier: Witnesses have reported gunshots and explosions at a shopping centre, casino and hotel complex near Manila's international airport in the Philippines capital.

Police rushed to the Resorts World Manila complex in the early hours of Friday after gunshots rang out at the complex, where smoke began billowing from the upper floor of the building.

Officers have not given details about the incident but have begun cordoning off the area near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Resorts World Manila said on its Facebook page that it was "currently on lockdown following reports of gunfire from unidentified men," adding "the company is working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe."

"We ask for your prayers during these difficult times," the company said.

"I heard many, many gunshots," Julio Silva, a witness who managed to dash out of the mall complex, told the DZMM radio network.

The incident is unfolding amid a 10-day deadly siege by Muslim militants aligned to the Islamic State group in the southern city of Marawi.

The attack has sparked fears that the militants may attack elsewhere to divert the focus of thousands of troops trying to quell the siege.

US president Donald Trump is receiving updates from his national security team following the incident.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted that "@POTUS is aware of the situation in Manila and being provided updates by his national security team."

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