MANILA, Philippines – Philippine officials say more than 200 Association of Southeast Asian Nation delegates will meet in a central resort province this week despite a foiled attack there by Abu Sayyaf extremists.
Acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy said Monday that Panglao Island in Bohol province could be considered "the most secure place in the country right now." The two-day ASEAN trade meeting on the island starts Wednesday.
The foiled attack and ensuing battle with government forces occurred in a hinterland village about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. Philippine forces killed four of several Abu Sayyaf extremists who had traveled to Bohol to stage kidnappings and bombings. Two villagers, three soldiers and a policeman were also killed in the clashes last week.