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Terrifying footage shows two British women trapped in hotel as protests turn violent in Ecuador 

A British woman caught up in violent protests in Ecuador has told how she was barricaded in her hotel as riot police fired tear gas and bulldozed through flaming rubble outside.

Sophie Parlby, 24, from Stockport is travelling with a friend and her teenage cousin and arrived in the capital Quito on Tuesday.

Speaking to MailOnline, she told how they were walking the streets when they stumbled across the army in riot gear and had to be ushered to safety as masked fighters clashed with the security services.

They are still trapped in the city, holed up in their hotel where staff have taped up the windows to prevent tear gas seeping through. 

Sophie Parlby, from Stockport, caught up in violent protests in Ecuador has told how she was barricaded in her hotel as riot police fired tear gas and bulldozed through flaming rubble outside (above)

Miss Parlby, 24, (in the green mask) is travelling with a friend Amie (middle) and teenage cousin Lauren (right) and the trio arrived in the capital Quito on Tuesday

Miss Parlby, 24, (in the green mask) is travelling with a friend Amie (middle) and teenage cousin Lauren (right) and the trio arrived in the capital Quito on Tuesday

Speaking to MailOnline she told how they were walking the streets when they stumbled across the army in riot gear and had to be ushered to safety as masked fights clashed with the security services

Speaking to MailOnline she told how they were walking the streets when they stumbled across the army in riot gear and had to be ushered to safety as masked fights clashed with the security services

‘It has been pretty intense here,' said Miss Parlby (above). 'It started with just large groups of people waving flags, shouting, and breaking things'

‘It has been pretty intense here,’ said Miss Parlby (above). ‘It started with just large groups of people waving flags, shouting, and breaking things’

‘It has been pretty intense here.’ she said. ‘It started with just large groups of people waving flags, shouting, and breaking things.

‘Then the army turned up at about 3pm. We were taken in by a security officer and watched the army raid the riots.

‘We made it back to the hostel eventually, and watched everything happen outside our window.

‘The military and police were firing tear gas which leaked into our hostel so we had to barricade ourselves in the back room with no food and water.’

Forced to wear face masks to cope with the gas, Sophie and Amie Thompson, 27, from Manchester and 19-year Lauren Rushack, from Busselton, western Australia fear the situation is only going to get worse. 

‘The locals were then throwing the gas back, along with homemade Molotov’s (petrol bombs) and large pieces of concrete. 

‘It is expected to be a lot worse. There are already crowds forming, a lot of burning tyres, and helicopters circling.’ 

The anti-government protests continued on Thursday with captive police officers paraded on stage and others forced to carry a coffin of an activist who died in the demonstrations. 

The trio of friends are on a six month tour around North and South America and arrived in Quito earlier this week.

What the women did not know was that Ecuador was in the grip of such violent protests that its Government had been forced to relocate from the capital Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil. 

Mounted police cross a burning barricade in pursuit of anti-government demonstrators on Wednesday

Mounted police cross a burning barricade in pursuit of anti-government demonstrators on Wednesday

An indigenous woman places a coloured scarf on a policewoman who was taken hostage along with several of her colleagues in Quito on Thursday

An indigenous woman places a coloured scarf on a policewoman who was taken hostage along with several of her colleagues in Quito on Thursday

Forced to wear face masks to cope with the tear gas (above), Miss Parlby fears the situation is only going to get worse. ‘The locals were then throwing the gas back, along with homemade Molotov’s (petrol bombs) and large pieces of concrete'

Forced to wear face masks to cope with the tear gas (above), Miss Parlby fears the situation is only going to get worse. ‘The locals were then throwing the gas back, along with homemade Molotov’s (petrol bombs) and large pieces of concrete’

The trio is on a six month tour around North and South America. What the women did not know was that Ecuador was in the grip of such violent protests that its Government had been forced to relocate from the capital Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil

The trio is on a six month tour around North and South America. What the women did not know was that Ecuador was in the grip of such violent protests that its Government had been forced to relocate from the capital Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil

She said when they called the British embassy they were told there was 'nothing they could do, and just to read the news'. Pictured: Miss Parlby in Colombia

She said when they called the British embassy they were told there was ‘nothing they could do, and just to read the news’. Pictured: Miss Parlby in Colombia

Miss Parlby said: We knew there was unrest, but we didn’t know the scale of the problem. We had been to the cathedral and were on the 20 minute walk back when the army came.’

They managed to get back to their hotel but have been almost unable to leave since.

‘They have been incredible. They taped the windows to limit the gas getting through, and have been giving us incense to remove the smell. 

‘The masked rioters have been everywhere, including right outside our hostel window.

‘The most scary aspect is the language barrier. We have no idea what’s going on. But we trust the local police and military.’ 

She said when they called the British embassy they were told there was ‘nothing they could do, and just to read the news’. 

Ecuador, a country of 17 million people, descended into civil unrest just over a week ago after their Government withdrew a long established fuel subsidy as part of economic reforms demanded as part of a US loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The effect was to double the price of diesel, prompting transport workers to block the streets of the major cities and airports in protest.

Ecuador, a country of 17 million people, descended into civil unrest  (above) just over a week ago after their Government withdrew a long established fuel subsidy as part of economic reforms demanded as part of a US loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Ecuador, a country of 17 million people, descended into civil unrest  (above) just over a week ago after their Government withdrew a long established fuel subsidy as part of economic reforms demanded as part of a US loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Meanwhile 6,000 indigenous protesters, mostly masked and brandishing large sticks have converged on Quito. Pictured: Poretesters with Molotov cocktails

Meanwhile 6,000 indigenous protesters, mostly masked and brandishing large sticks have converged on Quito. Pictured: Poretesters with Molotov cocktails

They were joined by other workers in a general strike which has closed schools, shops and factories.

Meanwhile 6,000 indigenous protesters, mostly masked and brandishing large sticks have converged on Quito.

Miss Parlby and her friends were planning to head by bus to the coastal city of Guayaquil where the Parliament has been relocated.

But with a general strike called and no public transport they are stuck.

‘It hasn’t been possible for us to leave so far due to road blocks, no transportation, and the embassy not offering any help,’ she said.

‘We left the hostel once yesterday at 10am to get supplies (food, water), but then had to stay in for the rest of the day.’

Miss Parlby (centre) told how they were walking the streets when they stumbled across the army in riot gear and had to be ushered to safety as masked fights clashed with the security services

Miss Parlby (centre) told how they were walking the streets when they stumbled across the army in riot gear and had to be ushered to safety as masked fights clashed with the security services

As part of the protest, workers went on a general strike which has closed schools, shops and factories

As part of the protest, workers went on a general strike which has closed schools, shops and factories

Three times in the decade up to 2007, indigenous uprisings brought down the government and President Lenin Moreno responded by declaring a 60-day state of emergency and sending the Army onto the streets to restore order

Three times in the decade up to 2007, indigenous uprisings brought down the government and President Lenin Moreno responded by declaring a 60-day state of emergency and sending the Army onto the streets to restore order

Three times in the decade up to 2007, indigenous uprisings brought down the government and President Lenin Moreno responded by declaring a 60-day state of emergency and sending the Army onto the streets to restore order.

He has vowed not to capitulate on his market reforms which are intended to slash the country’s debt from $3.6 billion to $1 billion by 2020.

And warned that the protests may be the start of a coup to remove him from office and replace him with a left wing alternative.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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