(Eagle News) — The Philippine Embassy in Lebanon reported that “no Filipino” had been hurt in deadly clashes that erupted recently in Beirut that killed at least six people and injured dozens.
The Philippine government said it is monitoring the situation in the Beirut street violence where shots were haphazardly fired into residential facades.
Violence erupted in Lebanon’s capital following a rally by Shiite protesters demanding the removal of the judge investigating last year’s port blast.
The violence has been described as one of the “worst street violence” in over a decade in Beirut.
“The Philippine Embassy in Lebanon reports that no Filipino was hurt in the recent street violence that rocked Beirut yesterday. The Embassy continues to monitor the developing situation,” it said.
The embassy reminded the Filipinos in Lebanon to be vigilant and avoid non-essential travels and crowded areas. It said Lebanon is still under alert level 2.
It said that in case of emergencies, Filipinos in Lebanon may get in touch with the embassy through +961 7085-8086 and email@example.com.
The clashes in Beirut erupted as supporters of the Hezbollah and Amal movements demanded the dismissal of Judge Tarke Bitar, the lead investigator in the Beirut port explosion that killed 215 people last year.
Local reports said the protest began outside the Palace of Justice that escalated when heavy gunfire broke out, killing at least six people and injuring dozens.
A heavy army presence was visible on the streets Friday amid fears of an escalation.
On Thursday, Amal and Hezbollah militiamen in their hundreds filled the streets around Tayouneh, a notorious civil war flashpoint near the spot where the April 1975 attack often presented as the trigger of the conflict occurred.
As a deluge of bullets riddled residential facades, and gaggles of fighters wearing ammunition vests took over the streets and emptied their magazines haphazardly, civilians crouched in homes, terrified.
One of the six people killed was a mother of five hit in the head by a stray bullet inside her home.
France, the United States and United Nations appealed for calm but also insisted on the need to allow the port explosion probe to continue unhindered.
(with a report from Philippine News Agency, Agence France Presse)