Protesters gathered outside a bank in Beirut on September 14 after what local media reported was a holdup and hostage situation carried out by a woman seeking to access deposits that had been restricted amid Lebanon’s currency crisis.
The woman was attempting to access money, L’Orient Today reported, to pay for her sister’s cancer treatment.
In footage streamed live during the incident, the woman says, “I am Sali Hafiz, I came today to Blom Bank to take my sister’s deposit […] I didn’t come to kill anyone [inaudible] I came to take my right.”
In the footage, Hafiz says her sister is “dying in the hospital.”
At 1:20 pm local time, Hafiz published a Facebook post that said, “I’m at the airport. See you in Istanbul. Ciao.”
Storyful could not confirm her whereabouts. A depositors’ advocacy group told Reuters Hafiz left the bank with some $13,000 of her own money. A representative of depositors told L’Orient Today the incident had been “organized in coordination with several depositors’ associations.”
Other footage circulating online on Wednesday showed Hafiz with a gun, but it was not clear if it was real or fake. Hafiz later told Al Jadeed TV the gun was fake. Credit: Depositors’ Outcry Association via Storyful