Armed man demanding his savings takes hostages in Beirut bank
Beirut, Aug 11 (EFE).- An armed man held several employees and customers hostage at a branch of Lebanon’s Federal bank in downtown Beirut on Thursday.
The man’s savings have been withheld in the bank as part of the measures the government has taken to deal with the deep economic crisis gripping the country since 2019, according to local media.
The 42-year-old, carrying a rifle and an undetermined amount of gasoline, deposited $209,000 before the economic depression, but the bank has given him access to only $1,000 over the past three years, Lebanon’s Depositor Association said on Twitter.
The association added that the man needs to recover his money to pay for his father’s $50,000 hospital bills.
Hassan Moghanieh, chief of the Depositor Association, headed to the bank to negotiate with the man, according to the National News Agency NNA.
Dozens of depositors have come to the area to show solidarity with the hostage taker, who threatened to set himself ablaze with the gasoline. His brother also has $500,000 stuck in the bank.
Over the past three years, the Lebanese currency lost more than 90% of its value and almost 80% of the population has slipped into poverty.EFE