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Hostage drama ends at Hamra bank after depositor paid $35,000

An eight-hour hostage crisis ended Thursday evening at Federal Bank's Hamra branch as an armed depositor turned himself in to security forces after the bank agreed to pay him a part of his deposit.

Around ten hostages, most of them bank employees, had been held by the man throughout the day.

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Mikati thanks Iraq for extending fuel supply treaty

Caretaker Prime Minister and PM-designate Najib Mikati on Thursday announced that the Iraqi government has agreed to a request from him for extending the supply of Lebanon with fuel for another year with the same terms and conditions.

The fuel will go to the cash-strapped national electricity company Electricite du Liban (EDL) to power some of its plants.

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Families of fire brigade victims file complaint against 27 figures, entities

The families of the firefighters who were killed in the Beirut port blast on Thursday filed a complaint against 27 officials and entities suspected of involvement in the tragedy.

“We are searching for the truth behind the port explosion and we will not wait for the result” of the investigations, a spokesman for the families, William Noon, said outside the Justice Palace.

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Blue Line stability shouldn't be taken for granted, Lázaro warns

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro on Thursday chaired a Tripartite meeting with senior officers from the Lebanese and Israeli armies at the U.N. position in Ras al-Naqoura, UNIFIL said.

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Bank employees say won't declare strike but will seek security protection

The head of the Federation of Syndicates of Banks Employees in Lebanon, George al-Hajj, announced Thursday that the employees will not declare a strike in response to the hostage crisis at Federal Bank’s Hamra branch.

“All that we want is for this incident to end peacefully,” al-Hajj said.

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Bou Saab says attack on Gaza delayed border demarcation

Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab said Thursday, after meeting with President Michel Aoun, that Israel's attack on Gaza has delayed the border demarcation file.

He added that U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein has only visited Israel the day he left Beirut. "We are following up with him on the matter," Bou Saab affirmed.

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Hezbollah delegation meets Jumblat in Clemenceau

A Hezbollah delegation comprised of Coordination and Liaison officer Wafiq Safa and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's political aide Hussein al-Khalil held talks Thursday in Clemenceau with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat.

The meeting was held in the presence of MP Wael Abu Faour and ex-minister Ghazi Aridi.

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Judge orders seizure of Khalil, Zoaiter's property over port blast

A Lebanese judge on Wednesday ordered the temporary seizure of the property of two deputies in the case of the deadly explosion which destroyed Beirut port two years ago, a judicial source said.

"Judge Najah Itani has issued a temporary seizure order worth 100 billion Lebanese pounds on the property of MPs Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zoaiter," the source told AFP.

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Aoun: Major progress in border talks, corruption battle must continue

President Michel Aoun on Wednesday stressed that Lebanon is “clinging to its rights to its waters and natural resources.”

“It has made major progress in the negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime border, which will continue in order to reach an agreement under the sponsorship of the U.N. and with the mediation of the United States,” Aoun said.

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Finance committee approves law amendments of $150M World Bank loan

The Finance and Budget Parliamentary Committee on Wednesday approved amendments to the law related to the $150 World Bank loan aimed at buying wheat, the National News Agency said.

The approval of two articles was however postponed until Thursday’s session, NNA added.

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