Ecuador

Protesting police storm Ecuador's Congress

©Reuters

Ecuadoran police protesting against a new law have stormed Congress in the capital city of Quito, an official says. Earlier, Ecuadoran troops took over Quito's airport, forcing it to shut down.

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About 150 troops have taken over the runway of the airport to protest a new law cutting benefits for the police and the military.

President Rafael Correa says he will not bow down to the pressure as the police staged demonstrations in the street. Tear gas was used in Quito to try to disperse the crowds.

"No, I will not step back, "If you want to seize the barracks, if you want to leave citizens undefended, if you want to betray the mission of the police force, go ahead. But this government will do what has to be done," Correa told soldiers from Quito's main regiment.

Army chief Ernesto Gonzalez says the president has his full support. "We live in a state which is governed by laws, and we are subordinate to the highest authority which is the president of the republic," Gonzalez says.

The leftist Correa was re-elected last year to a second term as president of the country of some 14.5 million people, which is bordered by Colombia and Peru.

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