ECUADOR – This is the horrifying moment men armed with bombs and grenades seized a studio shortly after gangsters vowed a ‘war’ against the president’s plans to reclaim control from ‘narcoterrorists.’
Attackers carrying rifles and grenades stormed the studio of TC television in the port city of Guayaquil, western Ecuador, as a woman was heard pleading: ‘Don’t shoot, please don’t shoot.’
The men ordered terrified crew onto the ground as the studio lights went off but the live broadcast continued for at least 15 minutes.
‘Please, they came in to kill us. God don’t let this happen. The criminals are on air,’ a TC employee said.
Why the attack
One of the hooded men who attacked the set reportedly said: ‘We are on the air so that they know that we do not play with the mafia.’
After about 30 minutes of chaos, police officers were seen entering the studio.
Ecuador’s Police said on X, formerly Twitter, that some units were deployed to the media facilities.
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Crimes in Ecuador
Ecuador has been rocked by a series of attacks including explosions and the abduction of police officers after the government imposed a state of emergency in the wake of the escape of a powerful gang leader from prison.
Adolfo ‘Fito’ Macías, the leader of Los Choneros gang, was found missing from his cell in a low-security prison on the same day he was supposed to be transferred to a maximum security facility, on Sunday.
Police reported four officers were kidnapped on Monday night and remained missing, one in the capital, Quito, and three in Quevedo city.