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Two Lebanon banks held up by depositors to take their own money back

On Wednesday, two reportedly armed and anxious Lebanese depositors broke into banks to seize their own money, which had been locked up due to a national financial disaster.


According to a source from a depositors’ advocacy group, a gun-wielding woman and her accomplices temporarily took hostages at a BLOM Bank location in Beirut’s capital before escaping with more than $13,000 in cash from her account.


Shortly after, a security source and the Depositors Outcry said that an armed man entered a Bankmed branch in the alpine city of Aley and withdrew some of his stranded savings before turning himself in to police.


Since an economic crisis took hold three years ago, Lebanon’s banks have barred the majority of depositors from access to their funds, leaving a large portion of the people unable to pay for necessities.


The holdups on Wednesday followed a guy robbing a different Beirut bank last month in order to withdraw money to treat his sick father, an occurrence that highlights the situation.


A customer and two companions, according to BLOM Bank, appeared brandishing a rifle, threatening to light people on fire, and compelling the branch manager and treasurer to retrieve cash from a safe.


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