Cairo: Clashes broke out between protesters and police in Ecuador after President Lenin Moreno declared a “state of emergency” Thursday following demonstrations against rising fuel prices due to the government scrapping subsidies.
Police fired tear gas at protesters who threw stones and fire bombs close to the seat of government in the historic centre of the capital Quito.
Moreno told reporters he had taken the measure “to safeguard the security of citizens and to avoid chaos.” The protests -- the largest in a decade -- were led by the transport sector but included students and other groups.
They paralysed public transportation in some areas, while clashes between police and demonstrators blocked roads.
Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo said 45 people were arrested. No figures were available for the number of people injured but some press photographers were hurt during the clashes.
The demonstrations came in response to increases of up to 120 per cent in fuel prices, which came into force on Thursday after the government eliminated subsidies as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to obtain loans despite its high public debt.