NNA - An armed man is currently keeping employees and clients as hostages inside a Hamra-based bank, our correspondent reported on Thursday.
The man is a depositor who demanded he be given his $209,000 deposits, before threatening to kill everyone inside the bank and set himself ablaze.
Head of the Lebanese Depositors Association, Hassan Mughniyeh, and members of the association arrived at the bank and attempted to persuade the armed depositor to refrain from harming the hostages.
However, the 42-year-old said that the reason he stormed the bank was that his father was being hospitalized and needed an operation that he’s not able to pay for.
The armed depositor said that his financial savings at the bank amounted to $210,000, and his brother’s $500,000.
Meanwhile, Mughniyeh entered the bank and negotiated with the depositor, whom in turn fired two stray shots and insisted on collecting his entire financial sum from the bank.
Mughniyeh blamed the nonchallance of officials regarding depositors’ rights for this hostage situation, warning that “if matters are not addressed swiftly, the situation will worsen.”
“The political authority and banking institutions in Lebanon are responsible for this situation,” he added.