Ecuador TV broadcast interrupted by armed men as violence rocks country

A live broadcast by Ecuadorean television station TC was interrupted on Tuesday by armed people, with gunshots and yelling heard on a live feed, as President Daniel Noboa issued a decree declaring 22 gangs as terrorist organizations.

The people, wearing balaclavas and mostly dressed in black, were seen wielding guns and accosting huddled staffers before the feed cut out.

Some of the invaders gestured at the camera and someone could be heard yelling “no police.”

The national police said on social media it was evacuating the public channel’s studio in Guayaquil, verifying the condition of staff there and “reestablishing order.”

Police in Guayaquil confirmed 13 arrests, and police social media posts showed photos of young men lying on the floor with their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

The incident followed the kidnappings of at least seven police officers and a series of explosions, a day after Noboa declared a state of emergency.

TC, which broadcasts nationally, shares a site with another public broadcaster, Gamavision, and several radio stations.The attackers entered through Gamavision’s reception, assaulting staff there and leaving dynamite behind, TC news coordinator and reporter Leonardo Flores Moreno told Reuters in a message.

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