It’s believed the man who has taken those inside a bank in Lebanon hostage wants money out of his account so his father can get medical treatment.
Armed man demanding savings holds Beirut bank staff hostage
A Lebanese man armed with a shotgun broke into a Beirut bank on Thursday, holding employees hostage and threatening to set himself on fire with gasoline unless he receives his trapped savings, a security official said.
The man, identified as 42 year-old Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, allegedly entered a branch of the Federal Bank in Beirut’s bustling Hamra district carrying a canister of gasoline and held six or seven bank employees hostage, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Some reports also say two customers are being held.
The man fired three warning shots, the official said. Local media reported that he has about $200,000 stuck in the bank.
Lebanon’s cash-strapped banks since late 2019 have implemented strict withdrawal limits on foreign currency assets, effectively evaporating the savings of many Lebanese.