March 2, 2008 / 9:28 PM / 12 years ago

Ecuador recalls ambassador in Colombia over dispute

QUITO, March 2 (Reuters) - Ecuador on Sunday recalled its ambassador in Colombia to protest what it said was an illegal incursion a day earlier by Colombian troops who killed a top guerrilla leader on its territory, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Ecuador trade representative will be in charge of the embassy in Bogota, in a move that lowers the level of diplomatic relations with Colombia, but does not sever ties with its neighbor, a ministry spokesman said.

Ecuador had earlier called back its ambassador for consultations after Colombia troops killed Raul Reyes, one of seven members of the secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in an operation that included air strikes and fighting with rebels across the border.

(Reporting by Alonso Soto; editing by Sandra Maler)

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