Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's MAP party announced Tuesday that it is suspending the campaign for the Feb. 17 election after two people were killed and four others wounded in an attack on a rally where the head of state was due to speak.

The incident occurred Monday in Quininde, a town in the northern coastal province of Esmeraldas, which borders Colombia.

A knife-wielding man waded into the crowd waiting for Correa's arrival and began striking out indiscriminately at people in front of the stage.

The stabbing went on for about 20 seconds before several men reacted by striking the assailant with the flagpoles they were carrying. The murderer ran away and was able to escape.

Interior Minister Jose Serrano announced later that a suspect had been detained, but has not yet been identified as the killer with any certainty.

"An embrace of solidarity for the families of the victims at Quininde. The video of the incident is really horrifying," Correa posted on his Twitter account.

A poll released Jan. 18 by survey firm Market shows incumbent Correa leading the eight-person presidential field with support from 49 percent of eligible voters, followed by banker Guillermo Lasso with 18 percent, and former President Lucio Gutierrez with 12 percent. EFE