Masked men stormed the set of a public television channel in Ecuador, brandishing guns and explosives during a live broadcast. President Daniel Noboa declared the country to be in a state of “internal armed conflict” following the attack on the TC Television network in the city of Guayaquil.
The armed men, armed with pistols and what appeared to be sticks of dynamite, barged onto the set during a live news program, causing chaos and panic. Although it is unclear if any station personnel were injured, the intruders were eventually surrounded by police and arrested.
This incident comes as Ecuador has been experiencing a series of attacks, including the recent escapes from prison of two of the country’s most powerful drug gang leaders. In response to these escalating security threats, President Noboa has declared a national state of emergency and authorized the military to take action against drug trafficking groups.
Ecuador’s Attorney General’s office announced that those arrested in connection with the television station attack will be charged with terrorism, which carries a penalty of up to 13 years in prison. President Noboa has vowed to restore peace and confront crime in Ecuador, as violence and criminal activity continue to burden the country.
The escalating situation in Ecuador has also prompted neighboring Peru to declare a state of emergency along its northern border with Ecuador. The wave of violence and attacks in Ecuador, attributed to drug trafficking gangs, has alarmed regional leaders and garnered solidarity from neighboring countries.
Amidst the chaos and unrest, Ecuador’s government is faced with the challenge of restoring security and stability, particularly in the wake of the apparent escapes of high-profile gang leaders. The country’s law enforcement and security forces are working diligently to address the security threats and bring those responsible to justice.