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| 9/23/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombian army kills top Farc rebel leader Mono Jojoy

BBC News -- One of the most senior leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) has been killed, say reports.

Jorge Briceno, also known as Mono Jojoy, died in a military air strike in the Macarena region, known to be a Farc stronghold, local media said.

President Juan Manuel Santos said Jojoy's death was "the hardest blow" in the history of the rebel movement.

The Marxist Farc rebels have been fighting the Colombian authorities since the mid-1960s.

Jojoy was believed to be leader of the Farc's strongest fighting division, the Eastern Bloc, and had eluded Colombian security forces for almost 10 years.

The United States had offered a reward of up to $5m (£3.2m) for information leading to his arrest or conviction.
 
"A military source has confirmed that it defeated a group of rebels during an operation involving the four branches of the military," Colombia's attorney general Guillermo Mendoza said in a radio interview.

He said soldiers had found the body of Jojoy.

"The symbol of terrorism in Colombia has fallen," Mr Santos said.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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