Suspected robbers jump to death during raid in crisis-hit Lebanon

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Two suspected bank robbers jumped to their deaths Thursday during a Lebanese army raid on their apartment, state media reported, amid a surge in crime in the crisis-hit country.

The raid in Beirut’s southern suburbs targeted a three-man “armed robbery gang” that had conducted a heist this week on a bank in the town of Zalka, north of the capital, said the National News Agency.

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“The army patrol was hit by live fire, and two members of the gang tried to escape, so they deliberately jumped of the balcony of their fifth-floor apartment which led to their immediate deaths,” the NNA said.

The third suspect was arrested, the news agency added.

During the operation, the army seized illicit drugs including cocaine as well as weapons and ammunition, according to the report.

Troops also confiscated motorbikes, masks, gloves and outfits that the suspects allegedly used to carry out the bank heist, the NNA said.

The robbery on Tuesday targeted a branch of Byblos Bank and left one employee injured, the NNA reported at the time.

It comes amid a surge in crime as Lebanon grapples with an unprecedented financial crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the worst in modern times.

The number of robberies in Lebanon has more than doubled in the first 10 months of 2021 compared with last year, according to the Internal Security Forces.

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