Philippine police on patrol in Manila (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Philippine police said on November 17 that they foiled a plot to bomb a Manila shopping mall as US President Donald Trump and other world leaders arrived in the city for the 31st ASEAN Summit.

The authorities said three alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group were arrested on November 10, a day before the leaders’ arrival. Pistols and grenades were seized from the suspects.

The alleged militants, two aged 19 and another aged 24, lived in a northern Manila slum.

Local police said they monitored one suspect's Facebook posts, in which he hinted at a plan to launch terror attacks in Manila with photos of firearms, explosive devices, and pictures of targets, including a mall and a park in the capital. They did not say when the suspects were planning to carry out the attacks.

However, police added they had asked prosecutors to file charges against the three for having unlicensed handguns, not in relation to a bomb plot.

Philippine Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa told reporters that security officers were checking whether the suspects were linked to previous attacks.

The high-profile event concluded on November 14 without any security incidents and there was no suggestion world leaders were in danger.-VNA