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  • World - South America
  • Updated: January 10, 2024

Gunmen storm Ecuador TV studio during live broadcast

Gunmen storm Ecuador TV studio during live broadcast

Gunmen men made their way into a television studio in Ecuador during a live broadcast and threatened the staff.

This was revealed in footage posted on YouTube by AP news.

The footage showed that over a dozen masked men broke into the set of a public television waving guns and shouting during a live broadcast.

The men armed with pistols and what looked like sticks of dynamite entered a station identified as TC in the city of Guayaquil and interrupted a news program.

Staff were forced to lie on the floor as the incident was aired live to thousands of homes across the nation before the station signal was cut off after about 15 minutes.

A 60-day state of emergency began in Ecuador on Monday after a convicted gang leader vanished from his prison cell.

The hooded men were seen leaving the TC studios, with police seen entering the set about 30 minutes after the gunmen first appeared.

National police units in Quito and Guayaquil have been deployed to the scene. The country’s National Police Force said that staff had been evacuated from the studio.

In his reaction to the incident, President Daniel Noboa signed an Executive Order declaring an internal armed conflict and listed several organised crime groups as “terrorist organisations” and “non-state actors”.

At least seven police officers have been kidnapped by gang members since the state of emergency was declared.

The measures were introduced by President Noboa after the boss of the Los Choneros gang disappeared from a maximum security jail on Sunday.

Nearly 40 other inmates, including another convicted drug lord, broke out from another prison in the city of Riobamba in the early hours of Tuesday.

However, it is not clear at this stage whether the storming of the television station is linked to the prison escape, but the incident revealed the worsening security situation in the country.

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