October 2, 2022

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- Give him money - VG

– Give him money – VG

Demonstration: Large groups of bank customers gathered in the Hamra district of Beirut, when a hostage situation broke out in a bank. Many announced their support for the hostage-taker.

Armed, he entered a bank on Thursday and threatened to set himself on fire. Bassam Sheikh Hussein, 42, greeted the crowds outside during the drama Hostages in Beirut.

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– Give him his money, and the crowd is said to have shouted, According to the Washington Post. As the hostage drama spreads inside the bank in the central Beirut neighborhood of Hamra, more and more people poured out of the building.

The deep and worsening economic crisis that Lebanon has faced in recent years has long led to frustration and large demonstrations.

The country was characterized by electricity shortages, dramatic growth in poverty, hyperinflation, and political crises.

Arrest: Bassam Sheikh Hussein surrendered to the police after holding several employees hostage for hours on Thursday.

When Bassam Sheikh Hussein stormed the bank on Thursday, he said he wanted to withdraw nearly 20,000 NOK to pay for his father’s medical expenses. He claims to have an amount equivalent to about NOK 2 million in the bank.

The hostage situation lasted about seven hours before Sheikh Hussein agreed to an offer to withdraw part of the amount. Then he fired several shots and took a number of bank employees hostage. No one is hurt.

– He did what he was

It seems that Sheikh Hussein’s demands have caused tension among some in Beirut:

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Each of us was robbed from different sides. From the banks and from the authorities, artist Sandy Chamoun (35) tells The Washington Post. She was one of those who appeared outside the bank when the hostage drama unfolded.

– I thought we should stand outside, to support him. She explains to the American newspaper that he doesn’t give up, so he doesn’t feel lonely or trapped.

Demonstrator: A man screams in frustration outside the bank where the hostage situation took place on Thursday.

Several other media outlets described similar statements from others at the scene.

– He’s not even a real thief. He only asks what is his, believes Ghassan Molla, who spoke to the British Watchman.

– He wants to live, he wants to pay electricity, feed his children, and provide for his father in the hospital, the head of the Lebanese Savings Association, Hassan Mughniyeh, told Reuters news agency on the spot.

Dissatisfied: A woman shows her dissatisfaction with Lebanese banks. In the background are the security police.

He did what he had to do, says Sheikh Hussein’s wife The island.

She and the man’s brother were among those who attended.

– My brother is not evil. He is a respectable man. His brother, Atef Sheikh Hussein, tells The Associated Press that he takes what he has from his pocket to give to others.

This was the hostage drama

Hussein fired warning shots inside the bank building in the crowded Hamra area in Beirut, and it was equipped with a gas canister. According to security sources, seven or eight employees were taken hostage.

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According to Lebanese media, the man has about $200,000 in his bank account, but Lebanon is in the midst of an endless economic crisis, and since 2019 Lebanese banks have imposed strict restrictions on the withdrawal of foreign currencies.

A customer who fled the building told local media that the man had asked for $2,000 to pay for medication to his hospitalized father.

Police: The ongoing hostage drama was shot in a bank in Beirut.

Reuters reported that some customers who were in the bank managed to escape before the man closed the doors. The source, whom the news agency spoke to, could not specify the number of customers and employees of the bank.

A witness is said to have seen a bearded man in a black shirt near the entrance to the bank. He is said to have spoken to several men who were in civilian clothes.

– Let them return my money! The witness must have heard.