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Ecuador suspends classes due to serious security crisis

Quito, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador´s Education Ministry on Tuesday announced the suspension of on-site classes nationwide as a result of the country´s serious security crisis as well as armed conflict decreed by President Daniel Noboa.

The Education Ministry has so far indicated to switch to virtual teaching in schools located close to penitentiaries, but after Tuesday´s several armed attacks and criminal acts, local authorities decided to change to non-face-to-face modality through January 12.

President Noboa issued a decree declaring the existence of an internal armed conflict in the country, by terming several organized crime groups as terrorists and ordering a direct intervention of the Armed Forces.

In the last few hours, authorities reported some explosions, car bombs, incinerated vehicles, kidnapped policemen, jailbreaks, among other violent acts.

Tuesday´s afternoon, hooded men burst into the Guayaquil TC Televisión channel studios and kidnapped its staff till law enforcement officers showed up. All actions were live broadcast.

Likewise, social networks and local media reported that buildings and businesses in downtown Guayaquil closed and evacuated their employees.

Regarding Ecuador´s capital, the military are currently guarding strategic sites including the Quito Metro, and are also carrying out some operations in search of weapons and explosives.

The National Assembly suspended its activities, while other institutions such as the Government’s Financial Platform were evacuated.

All these incidents came amid a state of emergency decreed on Monday by President Noboa, a measure that includes a curfew from 23:00 to 05:00 (local time).