NABATIEH, Lebanon: Three people, including two minors, were wounded overnight Thursday in an attack by a reportedly rabid dog in the southern district of Nabatieh.
The dog seriously wounded a child, identified as Syrian national Ahmad Abu Leila, and inflicted less significant wounds on two other people, identified as Lebanese woman F.Aa. and Syrian minor Hamza Z.
The attack occurred Thursday night while Abu Leila was sitting outside his home in Doueir Municipality, roughly 6 km west of Nabatieh, Mayor Ibrahim Ramal told The Daily Star Friday from the hospital where the boy was receiving treatment. The dog "bit the child directly," Ramal said.
Abu Leila received serious gashes to his head, and sustained deep lacerations across his body, as demonstrated by a photograph –showing the victim post-attack – that was shared with The Daily Star.
All of the wounded were taken to Nabih Berri Government Hospital in Nabatieh.
In the hospital Friday, Abu Leila appeared emotionally traumatized and had difficulty speaking about the attack.
His father, Khaled Abu Leila, said he had received a call from a Health Ministry representative, who conveyed that the ministry would cover the entire cost of his son's treatment.
"They've treated us as if we were in our own country," Khaled told The Daily Star, expressing gratitude to the hospital staff for their help.
A local resident, identified as Abu Ali Hassan Sabra, reportedly killed the dog using a hunting rifle following the attack.
Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani recently said that the rate of rabies exposure in Lebanon had risen dramatically since 2010, attributing the spike to increasing numbers of people living in poor conditions due to the refugee crisis.
The report did not look into whether the number of dogs affected by rabies had increased.