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Fireworks, bullets injure 260 in Philippines New Year countdown

Published on Dec 31, 2013 11:35 AM

MANILA (AFP) - Philippine authorities said more than 260 people had been injured by fireworks or stray bullets in the days leading up to New Year's Eve.

The victims of early celebrations on Tuesday included an eight-year-old boy in the central city of Cebu who lost his right hand due to a powerful firecracker and a 40-year-old woman in Manila with an accidental gun wound.

The Health Department said fireworks had injured 253 people while eight others were hit by stray bullets and warned that more injuries or even deaths were expected as the country of 100 million greets the New Year in typically noisy fashion.

Spokesman Eric Tayag said they were bracing for "50-80 fireworks related injuries every hour in the 12-hour period" before and after midnight.

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