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US, Australia, Britain Warn of Possible Terrorism at ASEAN Summit in Philippines


The United States, Britain and Australia are warning that terrorists may be planning attacks in the central Philippines, where Asian leaders will be gathering for a summit next week.

In separate advisories issued Thursday, the countries discouraged their citizens from traveling to the Philippines' Cebu province, where the three-day summit of the Association of Southeast Asian nations begins Monday.

Australia and Britain say they believe terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks there. And the U.S. Embassy in Manila is advising Americans to reassess their own personal safety and avoid public gathering places.

Thousands of security forces have been deployed to the area.

The Philippines is fighting communist and Islamist insurgencies. But officials are downplaying the security warnings.

A regional police chief, Silverio Alarcio, said he has no information about direct threats. He said Britain's travel advisory was just a warning.

The heads of 10 Southeast Asian nations, along with the leaders of China, Japan, India, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, will meet Monday for three days of talks.

Counter-terrorism is set to dominate discussions.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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