NewsAlert: Witnesses: Gunshots and explosions at Philippine mall

Military spokesman Restituto Padilla said the police were in control of the situation and the army was monitoring closely.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but Rita Katz, director of Site Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist propaganda, claimed that a Filipino operative of the Islamic State had said "lone wolf soldiers" were responsible.

Resorts World Manila is on lockdown following the incident.

Philippine emergency services reportedly swooped on the resort after the shooting and blasts.

"We ask for your prayers during these hard times", Resorts World said on Twitter.

Additional details were not immediately available. When President Donald Trump spoke at a news conference in the rose garden, he called the incident a "terrorist attack".

Some witnesses said they heard gunshots, so they hid in the bathroom.

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The complex, which is described on RWM's website as "the first and largest integrated resort in the Philippines", is located across from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Around 4 a.m. Friday, Resorts Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly told reporters police were looking inside the buildings for one suspect.

Although the Philippine police chief found no terrorist tie, the SITE Intelligence group, a US -based group that tracks extremist groups, said an operative for the Islamic State claimed that the group was responsible for the attack.

The same witness said at least one attacker was wearing a scarf around his head with only his eyes showing. Photos tweeted by an Israeli journalist appeared to show the building in flames, and a video shows people running in a panic.

Duterte said last week he may need to declare martial law across the rest of the country if the terrorism threat spread.

Clashes in Marawi City and the purported threat of ISIS to the Philippines prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

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