Gunman takes hostages at Bank of Beirut to demand return of frozen funds

After a confrontation that lasted for hours, the man surrendered to the security forces after receiving part of his bank account, according to the security source. The source spoke on condition of anonymity due to professional usage.

The man promised $30,000 out of $210,000 in his frozen bank account as part of his surrender terms, according to the National News Agency.

The gunman said he needed the money to pay for his father’s operation, and threatened to set the bank on fire and kill everyone in it, according to the National News Agency. In a video clip on social media, the man was seen carrying an assault rifle.

“Give me my money back!” The man was heard screaming in a video on social media that was recorded from the bank. “I do not have a lot of time.”

The bearded kidnapper is seen nervously walking around the bank cursing his hostages.

dozens of people You have They gathered outside the bank, demanding the bank return the money to the hostage taker in an incident that highlighted the desperation of Lebanese depositors in the midst of the country’s financial crisis. Many of the hostage-taker’s supporters chanted anti-government slogans.

Protesters threw water bottles at security forces when the hostage taker came out of the bank, waving to his supporters.

Since the start of Lebanon’s financial crisis in October 2019, the country’s banking sector has imposed discretionary capital controls, severely restricting people’s access to their life savings.

Earlier today, Thursday, the head of the Lebanese Depositors Association, Hassan Mughniyeh, entered the bank in an attempt to negotiate the release of the hostages, but the man fired two flying bullets, according to the National News Agency.

Mughniyeh said, according to the National News Agency, that “the political authority and banking institutions in Lebanon are responsible for this situation.” If things are not dealt with quickly, the situation will only get worse.

The economic crisis in Lebanon, which erupted in 2019, pushed more than three-quarters of the population into poverty and caused the local currency to lose more than 90% of its value in October 2019.

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