(Guayaquil) Ten people were killed in an armed attack in the port city of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s economic capital, under a state of emergency due to the violence of drug trafficking, police said on Sunday. local.

The attack, which happened around midnight on Saturday evening, took place in a mechanical workshop and left ten people dead and two injured, police told reporters via WhatsApp.

The country’s attorney general’s office said on Sunday that it had “opened a preliminary investigation into the murder of ten people, following an armed attack on Saturday evening […] in Guayaquil”.

“There was a shooting (in a local) where several people were drinking. Motorcycles came and shot everyone who was there,” a witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP on Sunday morning.

The victims had gathered to watch a football match, witnesses said.

At the scene of the attack, bodies could still be seen lying on the pavement, bathed in pools of blood. Around, people were crying and hugging as the police cordoned off the scene, AFP journalists found.

Authorities have so far reported no arrests in connection with the attack.

Guayaquil is one of the cities most affected by drug trafficking and violence in the country, due to its position on the Pacific coast, strategic for the transport of drugs to the United States and the Europe.

In prisons across the country, inmate clashes have claimed more than 420 lives since 2021, while outside prisons the homicide rate has almost increased between 2021 and 2022, rising from 14 to 25 per 100,000 population. , according to the authorities.

Two weeks ago, in the province of Esmeraldas, in the northwest, on the border with Colombia, around 30 armed men opened fire on residents in the port of Guayaquil, killing nine fishermen .

According to the authorities, the victims were under the protection of a criminal group, and were allegedly attacked by a rival group.