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Lebanese banks to close indefinitely after flurry of holdups

CNN  — 

Lebanon’s banks are to stay closed indefinitely because of ongoing “dangers” to staff and clients, the Affiliation of Lebanese banks introduced Wednesday.

The shutdowns observe a sequence of holdups throughout the nation over the previous month, with at the least 5 separate banks held up by depositors final Friday alone in try and retrieve financial savings frozen within the banking system.

Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese residents have been locked out of their accounts after the nation plunged into monetary disaster in October 2019. With native forex since dropping 90% of its worth, greater than three quarters of the inhabitants have been pushed into poverty and most are unable to pay for primary objects.

In August, an armed man stormed a financial institution within the capital metropolis of Beirut and threatened to kill hostages and himself if the financial institution didn’t enable him to withdraw cash from his frozen account. Claiming he wanted the funds to pay for his father’s medical bills, Bassam Sheikh Hussein surrendered to police after the financial institution gave him a few of his financial savings.

Having been cheered on by teams outdoors the financial institution, Hussein was hailed as a nationwide hero by many on social media. One nameless safety supply alleged to CNN that Hussein’s strategies could possibly be replicated by others.

Final Wednesday, a lady took $20,000 from her account after storming a financial institution armed with what she later claimed was a toy gun in an effort to fund her sister’s most cancers therapy, in keeping with state information.

Later the identical day, an armed man entered a financial institution within the mountain metropolis of Aley and retrieved a few of his trapped financial savings earlier than handing himself in to authorities.

The glass window of a bank is broken after a woman stormed it on September 14.
Lebanese army soldiers secure the premises near a bank in Beirut after a depositor stormed the branch demanding access to his money.

The 5 banks held up Friday included one incident within the southern metropolis of Ghazieh, the place an armed man – having poured gasoline on the ground of the financial institution – threatened to burn the constructing down if not given entry to his cash, state information company NNA reported.

He retrieved $19,200 and handed the cash onto to somebody ready for him outdoors the department, earlier than handing himself into authorities, NNA stated.

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