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Ecuador Rocked by Attempted Police Coup Against Left-Leaning President

An attempted coup has sent shock waves across the South American country.

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The leftist Correa was re-elected last year to a second term at the helm of the country of some 14.5 million people.

Since taking power in 2007, Correa has proven controversial because of his close ties to regional leftists like Chavez.

The US-educated economist took a tough stance with investors and refused to repay foreign debt, in moves welcomed by supporters who blamed the effects of the economic crisis on unbridled free-market policies.

His reelection was seen as giving some stability to the world's leading banana exporter that has seen three of its previous presidents -- between 1996 and 2006 -- ousted before the end of their terms.

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