Beirut, Aug 11 (EFE).- An armed man who took several employees and customers hostage at a branch of Lebanon’s Federal bank in downtown Beirut on Thursday has been detained.
The man ended the siege after receiving the savings that had been withheld by 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 man, who had been in the bank since the morning armed with a rifle and a can of gasoline, “left accompanied by security forces after handing over the amount to his brother,” the Lebanese Depositors Association explained on its Twitter account.
The president of the association, Hasan Mughanieh, was in charge of negotiating with the Association of Banks on behalf of the assailant, who demanded to withdraw the entire $209,000 he deposited there before the outbreak of the crisis in order to pay for an operation on his ailing father.
The association, which had previously reported that the man rejected an offer to withdraw $30,000, did not specify whether he was able to take his savings in full or how much money he was given as part of the agreement.
Dozens of depositors came 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