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Banks in Lebanon close again as citizens resort to hold-ups

Lebanese people are seen in front of a closed bank as Lebanese banks launch 3-day general strike amid ongoing incursions by depositors in Beirut, Lebanon on September 19, 2022 [Hussam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]
Lebanese people are seen in front of a closed bank as Lebanese banks launch 3-day general strike amid ongoing incursions by depositors in Beirut, Lebanon on September 19, 2022 [Hussam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

Banks in Lebanon were closed on Friday amid a rising number of hold-ups by people desperate to withdraw money from accounts frozen due to the country's crippling financial crisis, Anadolu News Agency reports.

There has been a series of incidents at banks across Lebanon, including somewhere armed customers took people, hostage, at branches.

Banks were also closed for more than a week last month.

Lebanon is one long tale of disaster and crisis - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Lebanon is one long tale of disaster and crisis – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Since they re-opened on 26 September, several incidents have taken place in various parts of the country.

On Wednesday, Lebanese lawmaker, Cynthia Zarazir, staged a protest at a private bank in Beirut to demand a portion of her frozen funds to pay for surgery.

Due to the rising insecurity, bank operations will be suspended throughout the country for one day, the Association of Banks in Lebanon said.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been grappling with a severe economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst globally since the mid-19th century.

More than half of the population has been pushed below the poverty line as the Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 per cent of its value, while unemployment is soaring and inflation rates remain in triple digits.

Banks in the country have imposed strict restrictions on local and foreign currency withdrawals, especially in dollars.

READ: Lebanon adopts strict security measures following bank raids

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LebanonMiddle EastNews
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