Gunmen in Ecuador kill 9 in Guayaquil as violence surges

Armed assailants launched an attack on a group of people in Guayaquil, Ecuador, killing nine and injuring ten. The incident occurred in the Guasmo neighborhood on Saturday evening, with the gunmen opening fire on individuals engaged in sports activities. No group has claimed responsibility for the assault. This marks the second mass killing in two days, following the execution-style murder of five kidnapped individuals in Manabi province, where signs suggest they were inadvertently caught up in a local drug-related conflict. Six other hostages, including minors, were rescued, and two suspects were apprehended. President Daniel Noboa denounced these acts, labeling them as narcoterrorism attempts. Ecuador has seen a rise in violent incidents in recent years, prompting Noboa to declare a state of emergency in January. The country’s homicide rate surpassed 40 per 100,000 inhabitants by the end of 2023, among the highest in the region.

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