Armed attack kills 10 in Ecuador port Guayaquil
Representational photo: Soldiers guard a gate after several inmates were killed in fights between gangs, in Guayaquil, Ecuador November 2, 2022. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos
(Reuters) -An armed attack has killed 10 people in the Ecuadorean port city of Guayaquil, the public prosecutor's office of Ecuador and police reported on Sunday. Three people were wounded, including a 5-year-old girl, police said on Sunday.
A rifle and 9-millimeter caliber guns were found at the scene, the Ecuadorean Prosecutor's Office posted on its Twitter account.
"We believe that this has to do with a struggle between organized criminal groups over the fight for territorial control," National Police Commander William Villaroel told a news conference.
"At the moment, our investigation and intelligence units are carrying out operational actions in order to identify those responsible," the National Police tweeted earlier on Sunday. There were no immediate arrests.
The Ecuadorean government declared a state of emergency in early April in Guayaquil and surrounding areas in an effort to curb surging violence in the Pacific port city. The measure includes a curfew from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m.
The South American country recently authorized civilians to carry and use guns for personal defense amid an increase in crime that the government has blamed on drug trafficking gangs.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in BengaluruWriting by Anna-Catherine BrigidaEditing by Matthew Lewis)