Ecuadorean president leaves hospital — media

09:48, 01 October 2010

Violent clashes...

Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa left a hospital in the capital Quito where he was blocked by protestors, and his current whereabouts are unknown, the country`s national radio reported on Friday, according to RIA Novosti.

Violent clashes between police and military broke out near the hospital earlier in the day, which the radio said could be a part of operation to release the president. Protestors opened fire and used tear gas against servicemen, who arrived to the hospital on two trucks.

Journalists say about 20 special police officers wearing bullet-proof vests entered the building shortly before the clashes began.

No official information is available so far.

Police officers of the Latin American state took to the streets on Thursday a day after parliament passed a controversial bill to delay automatic promotions and to end bonuses and other benefits. At least one person was killed and dozens injured in the protests, including the foreign minister, who was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

President Rafael Correa was also taken to hospital after a tear gas attack and is unable to leave the building, which is surrounded by an angry crowd. He said the protests were a planned coup attempt.

A weeklong state of emergency was declared in the country. Media reported of violence and looting in the capital Quito and other cities.

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