8 years ago365 views
Unrest has erupted in Ecuador, with troops taking control of the main airport and police protesting in streets as President Rafael Correa accused rivals of seeking a coup and considered dissolving Congress.
In confused and chaotic scenes in the capital Quito, scores of soldiers swarmed over the landing strip of the international airport, which was closed to flights, and uniformed police burned tires in protest at a government proposal to cut their bonuses.
A visibly agitated Correa challenged the protesting police: "Gentlemen, if you want to kill the president, here he is. Kill me if you want to. Kill me if you have the courage," he shouted to supporters from a balcony.
Correa, a close ally of Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez, later said he was attacked by protesters and needed medical treatment.
"They threw tear gas at us. One exploded near my face. It stunned me and my wife for a few seconds, probably minutes," he told a local radio station from a police hospital in Quito.
Witnesses said there was looting in Quito and in the city of Guayaquil, and that many workers and school students were being sent home.