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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ecuador to repel Colombian guerrillas

QUITO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Wednesday authorized armed forces at the country's northern border to repel any attacks from Colombian guerrilla groups.

Ecuador will deploy 7,000 soldiers and 2,000 policemen to guard the northern border with Colombia, Correa said.

"Ecuadorians are paying a very heavy price" for the war between the Colombian government and guerilla groups... which is not our conflict," he added.

"Seven Ecuadorian soldiers have died in this conflict and one soldier lost his leg... The Colombian government must control its territory," he said.

"We will answer with all any incursion of Colombian paramilitary groups," Correa said.

Correa also decried Colombia's lack of patrolling at its southern border with Ecuador.

Defense Minister Javier Ponce said Ecuador will repel all armed groups from Colombia, not just rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's oldest guerrilla outfit.

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