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Ecuador reports over 1,500 arrests since declaration of 'internal armed conflict'

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-01-16 09:30
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Ecuadorean armed forces members patrol at a commercial harbor area, amid the ongoing wave of violence around the nation, in Guayaquil, Ecuador Jan 15, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

QUITO - Ecuador's security forces have arrested 1,534 people since President Daniel Noboa declared a state of "internal armed conflict" on Jan 8, the Presidency reported on Monday.

Of that total, 158 individuals are accused of "terrorism", said the Presidency in an updated report posted on its social media account.

The arrests took place in 15,461 operations carried out by the police and the armed forces, from Jan 9 to 15, with the latest update at 6 am on Monday local time.

The Presidency also reported 41 operations against "terrorist groups" and five "terrorists killed". This last figure has remained unchanged since Jan 12.

In the update, the government highlighted an increase in seizures of firearms (575), bladed weapons (560), explosives (478), ammunition (13,043), and mobile phones (299). Additionally, hundreds of vehicles and motorcycles have been recovered.

In response to the escalation of violence unleashed by criminal organizations, Ecuador has been under a state of emergency since Jan 8 for 60 days, and a nighttime curfew is in effect.

Under the declaration of "internal armed conflict", 22 criminal gangs were classified as "terrorist organizations", and the armed forces were granted broad powers to combat organized crime, especially in prisons.

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