Masked gunmen open fire in TV studio live on air after drug kingpin’s escape sparks state of emergency in Ecuador

Masked gunmen open fire in TV studio live on air after drug kingpin’s escape sparks state of emergency in Ecuador

HOODED gunmen have hijacked a live television broadcast in Ecuador and threatened staff members.

Live television footage broadcast from Ecuador’s TC station in Guayaquil showed hooded gunmen storming the set, waving guns and threatening people.

EPAHooded gunmen have stormed a live television broadcast in Ecuador[/caption]

AFPImages have surfaced of blood on the floor of the studio[/caption]

AFPSome of the gunmen have been arrested[/caption]

Shots could be heard as some of the gunmen told staff members to lie on the ground.

Some members of the group were also seen pointing at the cameras and shouting “no police”, before the live feed was cut.

Another gunman was reportedly heard saying: “We are on the air so that they know we do not play with the mafia”.

While a hooded man has been alleged to have left a stick of dynamite in the television station’s reception area.

Specialised police units from both Quito and Guayaquil were quickly deployed to the scene.

They have since shared footage of blood on the floor of the television studio, alongside images of some of the arrests that they made.

Armed men have also entered the University of Guayaquil, attempting to kidnap students, and Teodoro Maldonado hospital, where they have been attempting to kidnap doctors.

Shots have been heard in both locations, and an evacuation order has been issued at the Carondelet presidential complex in Quito.

All of which follows Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declaring a state of emergency after a notorious drug kingpin escaped from a maximum security jail on Sunday.

Several police officers were kidnapped immediately after the announcement, and there have been a series of explosions across the country.

The security situation has now deteriorated to the point where President Noboa has declared the existence of an internal armed conflict in Ecuador.

Noboa has also issued a statement providing a decree for the direct intervention of the Armed Forces.

“I have just signed the state of exception decree so that the Armed Forces have all the political and legal support in their actions,” Noboa said on Instagram.

Adolfo Macias, the leader of the Los Choneros gang, had been serving a 34-year sentence for drug trafficking and murder.

Los Choneros is one of the Ecuadorian gangs that the authorities have deemed responsible for the spike in violence over the last year.

It has been claimed that Los Choneros has links with Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa cartel.

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