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Venezuela puts army on high alert
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Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, on Sunday formally ordered the nation's armed forces to be on high alert, the closure of Venezuela's embassy in Colombia and the mobilization of the nation's armed forces to the Colombia border.

"We are at a state of alertness. I am putting Venezuela on alert and we will support Ecuador," Chavez told his regular Sunday broadcast Alo Presidente. "Defense minister: move 10 battalions to the Colombia-Venezuela border. Tank battalions, military aircraft: deploy!" he ordered.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks during his weekly broadcast 'Alo Presidente' in Caracas March 2, 2008.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks during his weekly broadcast 'Alo Presidente' in Caracas March 2, 2008. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

During the same broadcast, Chavez strongly condemned the killing of Luis Edgar Devia, better known by the alias Raul Reyes, who was the de facto foreign minister for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), that nation's largest armed rebel group.

The Colombian army killed Devia in Ecuadorian territory. Ecuador responded with a protest letter sent via diplomatic channels.

Chavez told the broadcast audience that he had received a phone call from Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, in which Correa said he had recalled Ecuador's ambassador to Colombia and ordered the mobilization of troops to Ecuador's northern border with Colombia.

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