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Qatar tribune

At least seven people were killed in drive-by gang violence in Guayaquil, media reports said, citing police in the Ecuadorian port city.

The victims were killed on Saturday evening as they were playing street volleyball in the south of the city, the country’s largest. Unidentified assailants opened fire on them from a car and a motorcycle, the El Universo newspaper reported.

Two victims died at the scene, and five more later in hospital. Twelve people were injured, the reports in El Universo and on broadcaster Ecuavisa said. The assailants escaped.

Gang violence has soared in the country over recent years. The government of President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency on January 8, which remains in force. The declaration followed bloodshed in prisons controlled by gangs and the escape of a gang boss.

Ecuador, which lies on the Pacific coast between Colombia and Peru, is a major route for cocaine from the Andes smuggled to the United States and Europe. (DPA)

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