Filipina hurt in Beirut blast; 6 dead
The explosion in Beirut, Lebanon kills 6 people, including an influential member of a coalition opposed to the Syrian regime

HUGE EXPLOSION. A general view  from above shows Lebanese security forces and firefighters at the scene of a huge car bomb explosion that rocked central Beirut on Dec 27, 2013, killing Mohamed Chatah (Shatah), former finance minister and adviser to Lebanese ex-premier Saad Hariri, along with at least 5 others. Photo by AFP/STR

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines confirmed a Filipina got injured Friday, December 27, after a huge car bomb rocked Beirut, Lebanon and killed 6 people, including an influential member of a coalition opposed to the Syrian regime.

In a statement, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Filipina was brought to the emergency room of the American University of Beirut Medical Center.

No other Filipino was brought to 10 other hospitals near the explosion site, based on information relayed by the Philippine Embassy in Beirut to the DFA.

Hernandez said the patient “was admitted for ‘very minor’ injuries and was quickly discharged from the hospital at 1250H today.”

“The hospital’s administration assured the embassy that the OFW was discharged safely and in very good condition,” Hernandez said.

Overnight monitoring

The Philippine embassy vowed to “continue to call and monitor all Red Cross offices in the area from tonight until tomorrow morning to be sure that there are no additional Filipino nationals” injured.

In Lebanon, state news agency NNA said that Mohammad Chatah, 62, died as he headed to a meeting in the city center of the March 14 coalition at the mansion of ex-prime minister Saad Hariri. Dozens were injured in the blast.

Chatah, an influential economist and former minister of finance and Lebanon’s envoy to Washington, had served as adviser to ex-premier Fuad Siniora and remained a close aide to his successor, Saad Hariri.

Footage broadcast by Future TV showed people with their clothes on fire, others lying on the ground, some bloodied and in shock, as well as the mangled remains of a burning car.

Ambulances as well as security reinforcements rushed to the stricken area, where people caught in the blast were seen walking about in a daze as crowds gathered.

The blast sent thick black smoke scudding across the capital’s skyline and over the Grand Serail, a massive Ottoman-era complex that houses the offices of the Lebanese prime minister. – Paterno Esmaquel II, with reports from Agence France-Presse/

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