Ecuador President Rafael Correa Rescued

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has been rescued from a hospital where he had sought refuge after rebellious police attacked him early Thursday.

Soldiers loyal to Correa stormed the hospital in the capital Quito and engaged the rebel police, who were protesting against austerity measures imposed by the populist administration. The renegade police, who had surrounded the hospital where Correa was holed for more than 12 hours, were angered by a new law that would cut their benefits.

Heavy gunfire was reportedly exchanged between government troops and the rebel soldiers before Correa was finally freed and brought back to the presidential palace. Correa has accused his political enemies of trying to topple his administration through a coup.

The international community, including the United States, has thrown its support behind Correa, who has close ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The U.S. has also called for calm in Ecuador and urged the opposing parties to settle the issue peacefully.