QUITO - Ecuador's president has temporarily moved government operations from the capital Quito to the port city of Guayaquil amid protests sparked by the end of fuel subsidies.

In a television address, President Lenin Moreno said he would not back down on the fuel price hike and accused his opponents of attempting a coup.

It came after more protests and road blockades led by indigenous groups.

Hundreds have been arrested amid Ecuador's worst unrest in years.

Indigenous-led protests have toppled three presidents in the last few decades.

In his speech on Monday evening, Mr Moreno said the protests were "not a manifestation of social discontent in protest of a government decision".

"The lootings, vandalism and violence show there is an organised political motive here to destabilise the government, and break the constitutional order, break democratic order," he argued.

He said his predecessor and former ally turned arch rival, Rafael Correa, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro were behind the "destabilisation plan".

The Social Commitment political movement, which is led by Mr Correa, released a statement rejecting the president's accusations.

Mr Moreno said the decision to move the government seat was made in accordance with his constitutional powers.

Ecuador's Ministry of Energy also announced on Monday that activities in three oil fields in the Amazon region had been suspended "due to the seizure of the facilities by groups of people outside the operation," according to AFP news agency.

The seizures affected 12% of the country's oil production, the ministry added, without identifying the groups responsible.(FA)