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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 09:56 GMT
Ecuador destroys 'guerrilla camp'
Ecuadorean soldiers at the alleged Farc camp
Ecuador has stepped up security along the Colombian border
Ecuador has destroyed a camp allegedly used by Colombia's largest rebel group, the Farc, in its territory.

A large amount of weaponry had been found at the site, Defence Minister Oswaldo Jarrin said.

He added that Ecuador would take tough action against the Farc whenever its members were caught in its territory.

The camp was in the area in which Ecuador says Colombian aircraft violated its airspace at the weekend, while fighting the guerrillas.

Colombia says it is investigating the incident, but Ecuadorean officials say the response so far has been unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, Ecuador has deployed extra patrol planes to the border, with orders to escort any Colombian aircraft out of its territory.

'Ground battles'

Colombian Black Hawk helicopters and warplanes allegedly strayed into Ecuadorean territory on Saturday, in an operation against leftist guerrillas.

Local media had accounts from witnesses and police of ground battles taking place and recovered spent ammunition.

Quito issued a formal protest and demanded an apology for the "violation of their sovereignty".

Colombia denied the alleged incursion was intentional and said it would issue a formal response following the completion of an investigation.

It is not the first time Ecuador denounces an alleged incursion by Colombian planes in the 580-km (360-mile) border the two countries share - similar complaints were made last year.

The country has remained neutral in Colombia's struggle against a 41-year-old Marxist insurgency, despite requests for assistance.


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