& State TV says Correa leaving hospital
(Updates with TV report that Correa leaving hospital)
By Hugh Bronstein and Alexandra Valencia
QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuadorean troops stormed a
hospital in Quito late Thursday to rescue President Rafael
Correa, who was holed up and surrounded by renegade police
protesting against government austerity measures.
State television reported that Correa was leaving the
hospital and TV images showed heavy gunfire as soldiers moved
into positions around the building.
Troops carrying riot shields ran forward to help an injured
colleague who lay in street in front of the hospital.
The dissident police had earlier attacked Correa, prompting
the 47-year-old leftist leader to seek refuge in the hospital,
where he accused rivals of trying to topple him in a coup.
The U.S.-trained economist and friend of Venezuela's
socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez took power in 2007, alienating
foreign investors but winning approval ratings with populist
policies like greater state control over natural resources.
The United Nations and governments across the Americas
threw their support behind Correa, with the White House backing
him and calling for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Global oil prices rose to a seven-week high of near $80 a
barrel, partly due to the turmoil in OPEC's smallest member.