Car Bomb Explosion In Beirut Kills At Least 5, Including Former Minister And Ex-Ambassador To US

on December 27 2013 4:52 AM
  • Explosion In Beirut Kills Former Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah
    Lebanese Red Cross personnel cover a body near a destroyed car believed to be the vehicle in which former finance minister Mohammed Chatah was travelling in, after an explosion in Beirut's downtown area on Dec. 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
  • Explosion In Beirut Kills Former Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah
    Fires burn and smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Beirut's downtown area on Dec. 27, 2013. Reuters/Steve Crisp
  • Explosion In Beirut Kills Former Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah
    People run to help a wounded man as smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Beirut's downtown area on Dec. 27, 2013. Reuters/Jamal Saidi
  • Explosion In Beirut Kills Former Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah
    A view of a crater that was caused by an explosion in Beirut's downtown area on Dec. 27, 2013. Reuters/Jamal Saidi
  • Lebanon's Former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah
    Lebanon's Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah (C) gestures as he tours a patrol boat at the port of Beirut on March 10, 2009. Reuters
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A car bomb exploded early Friday in central Beirut killing five people, including a senior aide to former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and a former ambassador to the U.S., Lebanon's state news agency said.

Mohammed Chatah, a senior adviser to Hariri, and his driver were killed in a powerful explosion near an upmarket hotel in central Beirut. Three others were also killed and at least 15 others were injured in the powerful blast, local media reports said.

Television footage showed several dead bodies scattered over the area and many cars in the area in flames. The blast also damaged nearby buildings, including a restaurant and a coffee shop.

A witness at the scene told Reuters that Chatah’s car was "totally destroyed. It is a wreck." Police have blocked off roads across the city following the explosion, and ambulances were seen taking victims from the area, according to the witness, who added that there was glass everywhere and the smell of explosives filled the air.     

Chatah served as a finance minister in Hariri’s government and was critical of the Syrian regime and Hezbollah. 

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