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Police nab 13 as gunmen storm live Ecuador TV show


Police nab 13 as gunmen storm live Ecuador TV show

Ecuador police have arrested 13 gunmen who forcefully entered a public television channel TC in Guayaquil during live television on Tuesday.

The assailants had forced employees to the floor during a live broadcast before abruptly cutting off the feed.

The police after the arrest displayed recovered weapons as evidence of the operation’s success.

“All hostages were freed … the perpetrators will confront justice and be sentenced for terrorist acts,” the police stated on X.

The event unfolded amid a 60-day state of emergency declared in Ecuador earlier this week due to the mysterious disappearance of Choneros gang boss, Adolfo Macías Villamar, also known as Fito, from a prison in Guayaquil.

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The motive behind the TV studio attack remains unclear, but it has further heightened tensions in the region.

Ecuador President, Daniel Noboa declared an “internal armed conflict” and announced the mobilization of the armed forces to combat “transnational organized crime, terrorist organizations, and belligerent non-state actors.”

A TC employee, who experienced the traumatic event, shared their distress, stating, “Please, they came in to kill us. God, don’t let this happen. The criminals are on air.”

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Video footage of the suspects arrested was shared by the police on social media, emphasizing that those responsible would be “punished for terrorist acts.”

Expressing concern over the situation, the United States condemned the “brazen attacks” in Ecuador and pledged to coordinate closely with President Daniel Noboa’s government, offering assistance if needed.

The escalating violence in Ecuador, including recent jail riots and escapes linked to criminal gangs, has raised alarms.

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The government’s list of 22 gangs, including the notorious Choneros. The violence is believed to be connected to the ongoing struggle for control over cocaine routes to the US and Europe among local and foreign drug cartels.

Residents across Ecuador express their shock and anxiety, with one stating, “In Ecuador, we have never seen this kind of thing, where a channel has been practically hijacked and a broadcast starts with shootings, with kidnappings.”