Armed attack kills 6 at birthday party in Ecuador

QUITO – At least six people were killed and another six injured when armed assailants opened fire on revelers at a birthday party in Duran, one of Ecuador’s most crime-ridden cities, local media reported.
The attack occurred in the Abel Gilbert district of Duran, in the southwest coastal province of Guayas.
According to preliminary reports, the fatal victims, including the 23-year-old birthday boy, had no criminal record.
Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared the country to be in a state of “internal armed conflict” in January, following a spike in violence blamed on organized crime linked to drug trafficking.
Under the measure, security forces were instructed to disband 22 criminal gangs classified by the government as “terrorists.”
In 2023, Duran registered a homicide rate of more than 145 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the country’s highest, according to official data. (Xinhua)…[+]