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Monday, November 10, 2008

Ecuador denies existence of 16 FARC camps on its territory

QUITO, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Ecuadoran government Tuesday denied the alleged existence of 16 camps of Colombia's largest rebel group on its territory.

"I am absolutely clear in saying that reports show there are not any presence of irregular forces at those 16 locations," Ecuadoran Defense Minister Javier Ponce told local media.

He was referring to the Colombian allegation which said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has set up 16 camps in Ecuador and used them "for drug trafficking and terrorist attack planning."

Ponce also said that actually "five of those camps are on the Colombian territory" and thus the Colombian government "should be requested to analyze the issue with a little more good faith."

The minister said the Ecuadoran army has implemented appropriate measures in the border region with Colombia to prevent incidents similar to the one on March 1, when Colombia launched a cross-border attack on FARC, prompting Ecuador to break off its diplomatic ties with Colombia two days later.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said on Monday that he does not have any interest to resume ties with Colombia.

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