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Ecuador: "internal armed conflict" declared as narcoterrorists launch multiple attacks across the country

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Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa has declared an “internal armed conflict” in the country, ordering security forces to “neutralize” several criminal groups accused of spreading extreme violence in...




Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa has declared an “internal armed conflict” in the country, ordering security forces to “neutralize” several criminal groups accused of spreading extreme violence in Ecuador.


The decree came shortly after hooded and armed men interrupted a live television broadcast – one of several violent incidents playing out across the country on Tuesday. Local media outlets also reported armed individuals at a hospital and a university in the city of Guayaquil.


Ecuadorians were stunned as they watched the takeover of the Guayaquil-based network’s live broadcast. The assailants were seen forcing the staff of TC Television onto the floor of the studio as shots and yelling were heard in the background, social media video showed of the incident at the state-owned network.




The country has been rocked by explosions, police kidnappings, and prison disturbances since Noboa on Monday declared a nationwide state of emergency after high-profile gang leader Adolfo “Fito” Macias escaped from a prison in Guayaquil.




The country’s worsening security situation is largely driven by rival criminal organizations, which have been meting out brutal and often public shows of violence in the country’s streets and prisons in their battle to control drug trafficking routes.


In one of the kidnappings this week, in which three agents were taken, an explosive device had been “placed and detonated” in a vehicle the officers were moving in, police said.

In Esmeraldas, in the northwest of the country, two vehicles were set on fire with one causing a blaze at a gas station.


In the capital Quito, the police found a burned vehicle with traces of gas cylinders inside. Residents reported on social media that they had heard a loud explosion in the area.


Police also said they had received reports of an explosion at a pedestrian bridge outside Quito and attended “over 20 emergencies during (Monday) evening and overnight (Tuesday) in different parts of the country. There are currently no known casualties related to the explosions.





Ecuador’s penitentiary service, the SNAI, said that at least six incidents took place inside prison facilities Monday, including disturbances and retention of penitentiary agents. This situation in the prisons, they say, has not been controlled.


Meanwhile, another alleged gang leader, Fabricio Colon Pico, escaped from a prison in Riobamba in the last few hours, according to the city’s mayor Jhon Vinueza.


Colon Pico had been captured last Friday after being publicly identified by Ecuador’s Attorney General Diana Salazar as being part of a plan to attack her. Along with Colon Pico, 38 other inmates escaped, of which 12 have been recaptured, the SNAI told CNN.



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