Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Monday evening said two government supporters were killed and several suffered stab wounds during a campaign rally almost two weeks before a presidential election that the leftist leader is expected to win comfortably.
"Crazy person stabs seven AP people while they were waiting for the President. Two have been killed," Correa said in his Twitter account, referring to supporters of the ruling Alianza Pais political movement, AP.
The incident occurred ahead of a campaign rally in Quininde, a town in the western Esmeraldas province.
A video showed at a press conference at the Interior Ministry in Quito showed a man with a large knife attacking Correa supporters.
"Before the president was due to arrive ... we can see in these images how this person stabs the people that were standing up front," said Interior Minister Jose Serrano.
He said that four people were wounded and that police had arrested the person who they think carried out the attack.
Correa, an ally of socialist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is expected to win the Feb. 17 vote. Polls give him between 50 percent and 60 percent of votes, at least 30 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, Guillermo Lasso, a former banker.
Correa has boosted state spending on welfare and infrastructure, which has made the 49-year-old very popular among the country's low-income majority.
The U.S.-trained economist has been at odds with foreign investors since taking office in 2007. He rattled Wall Street when he defaulted on $3.2 billion on foreign bonds in 2008, and two years later forced foreign oil companies to sign deals granting the state a larger share of their revenues.