Hundreds gather in Beirut to bid farewell to former Minister Chatah
Hundreds including government officials and politicians flocked to Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut to bid farewell to slain former Minister Mohammad Shatah who will be laid to rest at the mausoleum of former PM Rafik Hariri.
The veteran diplomat who was also former PM Saad Hariri’s senior adviser was on his way to a meeting of the March14 coalition at Hariri’s residence in Beirut.
Seen as a moderate figure in the March 14 coalition and the Sunni community, Shatah was a former finance minister and a former ambassador to the U.S.
The March 14 group has called on Lebanese, particularly its supporters, for a high turnout at the funeral which will take place at Mohammad al-Amin Mosque at Martyrs’ Square.
The Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces carried out tight security measures blocking all roads leading to Martyrs’ Square and surrounding neighborhoods allowing only pedestrians to cross over.
Officials and politicians arrived at the Beirut mosque for a third consecutive day to offer condolences to Shatah’s family as well as the family of his slain bodyguard Tareq Badr.
Hariri, who has been out of the country for over two years for security reasons, has implicitly blamed Hezbollah for Shatah’s assassination while the March 14 coalition has accused Syria and its allies in Lebanon for the killing.
The explosion was the latest among a serious of bomb attacks that have targeted several areas across the country throughout the year, killing and wounding hundreds.