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Ecuador sends troops after clash at Chinese-backed copper mine leaves 1 dead

A state of emergency was imposed after a violent altercation at a copper mine in Ecuador between police and the indigenous Shuar people claimed the life of one policeman, Reuters reported Dec. 16.

President Rafael Correa declared a 30-day state of emergency in the Morona Santiago province, saying the protests involved "illegally armed groups" that left several policemen injured.

According to local media, the attack involved the members of the Shuar, who claim that the mine's owner has encroached on their territory.

The Panantza-San Carlos exploration project is operated by Chinese company ExplorCobres.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said China was paying close attention to the incident and confirmed that no Chinese had been injured, adding that the government is willing to work with Ecuador to take effective measures "to create a good environment for bilateral practical cooperation."