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Lebanon crisis

Lebanon banks to close in solidarity with Lebanese Swiss Bank after staff assaulted

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Banks in Lebanon will close on Tuesday in solidarity with the Lebanese Swiss Bank after it said staff at its headquarters had been assaulted by individuals seeking access to closed accounts, the Banks’ Association said in a statement on Monday.

The Lebanese Swiss Bank said in a statement it would close its branches and offices for the day after about a hundred men barged into the headquarters and assaulted its employees.

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It said the individuals who attacked the bank belonged to an organization called Baneen, a charity in southern Lebanon, that had held accounts with the bank but were closed on legal grounds.

The bank statement said the men forced bank employees to make money transfers to Turkey.

Baneen president Mohamed Baydoon denied use of any force and said the transfer of funds was done amicably. It was not immediately clear why the accounts had been closed.

Lebanon is on the verge of political and economic collapse as the country has been left adrift following months of deadlock in forming a new government, said an expert recently.

The outgoing government of Premier Hassan Diab resigned in the wake of an August 4 explosion at Beirut’s port that killed more than 200 people and ravaged swaths of the capital.

On Sunday, nearly twenty people were wounded in scuffles in northern Lebanon between security forces and protesters angered by a spiraling economic crisis, a medical association said.

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