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Massacre in Ecuadorian province under state of exception

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Quito, Feb 28 (Prensa Latina) Seven men in military uniforms were found slaughtered on Wednesday in the back of a pickup truck in Ecuador, an incident that took place as a state of emergency is in force in that nation.

The massacre occurred in a rural sector on the outskirts of the town of Joya de los Sachas, in the Amazonian province of Orellana, where a nighttime curfew is in effect.

However, in the evening a shooting was heard, the Chief of the Police in Orellana, Henry Coral told in a press conference.

Orellana stated that a criminal gang may be behind the crime, although he did not give names, and assured that investigations are underway.

The seven victims were wearing military clothes similar to those used by the Armed Forces; however, that institution assured in a statement that none of them belonged to its troops.

According to the official press release of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, in the area they found three assault rifles type firearms, two handmade long arms, two feeders with 5.56 millimeters ammunition, a nine millimeters pistol, and 4,350 nine millimeters caliber ammunition.

At the onset of January, when declaring the existence of an internal armed conflict against organized crime, President Daniel Noboa had identified 22 transnational organized crime groups as terrorist organizations and belligerent non-state actors.

In that way, the president opened a legal door for the military and police to act with all their resources to neutralize criminals.

ef/omr/rgh/avr

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