Lebanese urged to express outrage during Chatah's funeral


Chatah assassination 5Beirut, Lebanon- March 14 coalition called on all Lebanese to attend the funeral of slain former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah which will be held in Downtown Beirut on Sunday and to express national outrage over the assassination.
“Lebanon will bid farewell to former Minister Mohammad Chatah on Sunday December 29th,” the National News Agency said on Friday.

The funeral ceremony will take place following mid-day prayers at the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque located in Downtown Beirut.

The former minister will be buried alongside former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in downtown Beirut, NNA also said.

In a statement issued earlier in the day, the March 14 General Secretariat called on all Lebanese to attend the funeral of Chatah and express “overwhelming national outrage” at the death of the ex-minister.

Chatah, a close advisor of Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri, was killed Friday by a car bomb as he was heading to a March 14 meeting in Hariri’s residence in Downtown Beirut.

Dr. Chatah, a former Lebanese finance minister and ambassador to the United States, died Friday when a car bomb struck his convoy in downtown Beirut as he was heading to a March 14 meeting at Future Movement Saad Hariri’s residence in Downtown Beirut .

The blast killed six others and left 70 wounded. Cars were burned beyond recognition as a wall of flames and thick black smoke shot up from the blast site.

Chatah’s bodyguard, Mohammed Badr, was among those killed, National News Agency said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but fingers were pointed at Hezbollah and Syria. Chatah a close advisor of Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri was an outspoken critic of the Syrian regime and of Hezbollah.

Chatah’s death comes 20 days before the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon begins the trial of five Hezbollah suspects over the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri. Like Chatah, Hariri was also killed in a car bombing in downtown Beirut.

Former PM Saad Hariri condemned Chatah’s assassination and drew a parallel between his murder and the murder of his dad Rafik :

“The criminals are the same ones behind former PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination. The assailants seek to assassinate Lebanon and weaken the state.” He said.

Earlier today Judge Saqr Saqr ordered the erection of a tent at the site of the downtown blast in order to determine the nature of the explosives used in the attack and the size of the crater it created.
Sqqr revealed later that the explosives of the car bomb weighed between 50 and 60 kg ( 110-132 )lbs