Troops Save Ecuadorean Prez from Rogue Cops
Correa held captive in hospital by police protesting benefit cuts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2010 10:57 PM CDT
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gestures as he runs away from tear gas during a police protest in Quito.   (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
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(Newser) – Troops have rescued Ecuador's president from a hospital where he had been trapped for over 12 hours by police officers rebelling over benefit cuts. Rafeal Correa, who was tear-gassed and roughed up by rogue cops, described widespread police protests as an attempted coup. He had vowed to leave the hospital "as president or as a corpse," the AP reports.

At least one soldier was shot and injured during the rescue. Police angered at the cuts had earlier taken over barracks and shut down highways and airports as part of a nationwide strike. Some members of the military joined the protests but the head of the armed services pledged his loyalty to Correa. Looting and robberies occurred in major cities due to the absence of police.