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Lebanese police to boost security near banks amid unrest

Lebanese security forces will boost measures near the country’s banks that have been closed for more than a week over fears by employees for their safety amid nationwide unrest.

Police said in a statement Saturday that there will be more patrols near banks.

Lebanon’s financial troubles have worsened since mass protests began on Oct. 17, and snowballed into calls for the entire political elite to step down.

A damaged ATM screen has been spray painted with a message that reads in Arabic, "Down with the rule of the banks," in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Lebanon's banking association says banks will stay closed due to a strike by employees, as country's financial crisis worsens. (AP PhotoBilal Hussein)

Banks reopened Nov. 1 after a two-week closure amid the protests but depositors have rushed to withdraw their money while the country’s various lenders imposed varying capital controls.

In some banks, customers insulted employees after they were told they cannot withdraw as much money as they want.

The banks closed again on Nov. 9, and employees have been on strike since then.

A man passes by a closed bank in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Lebanon's banking association says banks will stay closed due to a strike by employees, as country's financial crisis worsens. (AP PhotoBilal Hussein)