Turkish aid group helps victims in Beirut, Ankara offers field hospital

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A man walks past a damaged building and vehicles near the site of Tuesday’s explosion in the port area of ​​Beirut, Lebanon, August 5, 2020. REUTERS / Aziz Taher

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH) is among those looking for survivors in Beirut after a massive explosion in the city killed 100 people and injured nearly 4,000, and Ankara offered to build a field hospital and help if necessary.

“We have relayed our offer of aid,” including immediate work on the hospital, and “we are awaiting a response from the Lebanese side,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters.

Tuesday’s explosion in port warehouses storing highly explosive materials was the most powerful in years in Beirut and prompted offers of help from countries like the United States, Israel and Turkey.

Members of the IHH group were digging through the debris to search for people and recover bodies, and the group mobilized a kitchen in a Palestinian refugee camp to deliver food to those in need, said Mustafa Ozbek, an official. of the Istanbul-based group.

“We provide assistance with an ambulance to transfer patients. We can provide help according to the needs of the hospital, ”he said.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun and Yesim Dikmen; Written by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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