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Protesters Force Shutdown of Ecuador's Oil Exports

Protesters have forced Ecuador's state oil company, Petroecuador, to suspend the export of crude oil by damaging a pumping facility and briefly kidnapping a group of technicians.

Petroecuador said it was giving notice to foreign customers that it could not guarantee the delivery of oil for reasons beyond its control.

Petroecuador said protesters occupied one of its pumping facilities early Monday, destroyed equipment and held the technicians hostage.

The pipeline transports 380,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

A similar attack earlier this month, on February 7, caused another closure of an Ecuadorean pipeline.

The protesters are demanding a greater share of Ecuador's oil wealth.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.