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Protesters Force Ecuador Government to Flee Capital


Soldiers line up as people block a road during protests after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's government ended four-decade-old fuel subsidies.

Ecuador's president has relocated his government in the face of violent protests that have taken over the capital, Quito.

President Lenin Moreno announced on state television that he was moving the government to the southern city of Guayaquil.

Early Tuesday, protesters stormed the empty congress building in Quito for a short time before the police used tear gas to force them out.

Protesters have also taken over several oil facilities, leading to a drop in oil production of 30%, the energy ministry said.

Violent protests erupted across Ecuador five days ago after Moreno announced austerity measure, including stopping fuel subsidies, which sent gas prices soaring.

The measures are part of a $4.2 billion funding deal Moreno reached with the International Monetary Fund.

Indigenous groups are leading the protests, calling on Moreno to reverse the policies they say will deepen economic inequality in the country.

Local news carried images of protesters clashing with police, setting fire and blocking roads.

Moreno has called for talks with the Indigenous groups but has refused to reverse the austerity measures.