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Brazil condemns Colombia's Ecuador raid

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BRASILIA, March 3 (Reuters) - Brazil's foreign minister on Monday condemned a Colombian military strike on rebels inside Ecuador and called on Bogota to offer an explicit apology.

"The territorial violation is very serious and needs to be condemned," Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said in Brasilia. "Brazil condemns any territorial violation."

Amorim also said the Colombian government should offer an "explicit" apology to contain the growing crisis prompted by the weekend raid, in which Colombian forces struck at a FARC rebel camp inside Ecuador.

He called for the Organization of American States (OAS) regional body to set up a committee to investigate the circumstances of the attack, which included air strikes and ground combat. Senior FARC leader Raul Reyes was killed.

The incident has flared into the most dangerous dispute in Latin America for years. Venezuela and Ecuador sent troops to their borders with Colombia on Sunday and downgraded diplomatic ties.

"A more explicit apology to Ecuador for the territorial violation would help contain the crisis," said Amorim, whose country is a regional diplomatic power and shares a border with both Colombia and Venezuela.

Colombia should also explain any mitigating circumstance, such as if the raid was mounted in self-defense or was a "hot pursuit" action, he said.

Earlier on Monday, Brazil said it would increase diplomatic efforts to help resolve the standoff.

"This conflict ... is beginning to destabilize regional relations," said Marco Aurelio Garcia, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's foreign policy adviser.

"We are mobilizing all of Brazil's diplomatic resources and those of other South American capitals to find a lasting solution," Garcia told CBN radio.

Lula was due to talk to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to coordinate diplomatic efforts, Garcia said. Chile also offered to take part in resolving the conflict, he said.

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