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Hooded gunmen storm TV studio live on air

Hooded gunmen storm TV studio live on air

Armed men with their faces covered broke into a TV studio in Ecuador while it was broadcasting live

Armed men with their faces covered stormed into a TV studio in Ecuador after the country's president declared a national state of emergency and said the South American nation had entered an 'internal armed conflict'.

TC Television was broadcasting live yesterday (9 January) when their programming was interrupted by hooded men armed with guns and what appeared to be explosives.

The live broadcast showed TV staff being forced to their knees, the men shouted that they had bombs and sounds similar to gunshots could be heard.

Alina Manrique, head of news for TC Television, said she was in the control room across from the studio when masked men entered the building.

She said that one of the men pointed a gun at her head and told her to get on the floor.

Police posted images of guns and explosives taken from the hooded gunmen to social media.

"I am still in shock,” Ms Manrique told the Associated Press after the ordeal.

"Everything has collapsed. All I know is that its time to leave this country, and go very far away."

Violence has erupted in Ecuador since the apparent escape of gang leader Adolfo Macias from prison on Sunday (7 January), with President Daniel Noboa announcing that he would declare a state of national emergency the following day.

The emergency allows authorities to suspend people's rights and use the military in places like prisons.

Shortly after the hooded gunmen stormed the TV studio, President Noboa announced that 20 drug trafficking gangs had been designated as terrorist groups and authorised Ecuador's military to 'neutralise' them.

Ecuadorean police chief Cesar Zapata later announced that they had arrested all of the armed intruders who had entered the TV studio.

Police arrested 13 suspected terrorists who had stormed TC Television armed with guns and explosives.
Romina Duarte/Agencia Press South/Getty Images

Police said they were able to free all of the staff, arresting 13 individuals, posting footage of men being led out of the TV studio to social media and declaring: "The perpetrators will be brought to justice to be punished for the terrorist acts."

The TV station said that two of their staff had been injured, one cameraman was shot in the leg while another employee's arm was broken in the attack.

Zapata said the storming of the TV studio 'should be considered as a terrorist act', and that police had confiscated guns and explosives from the gunmen.

The state of emergency announced on Monday (8 January) is set to last for a period of 60 days and includes a curfew from 11pm to 5am.

According to the BBC, at least 10 people have been killed in Ecuador since the state of emergency was declared.

Featured Image Credit: TC Television

Topics: World News, Crime