BOGOTA - Colombian forces killed the FARC rebel leader Alfonso Cano in combat, delivering another serious blow to Latin America's longest guerrilla insurgency, the defense ministry said on Friday.
The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has been battered by a US-backed military campaign started in 2002 and the waning insurgency has lost several key commanders in the last four years.
The death of Cano, who took over leadership of the rebels after their founder died in 2008, is a strategic victory for President Juan Manuel Santos. He came to office last year promising to keep up a hardline stance against the guerrillas.
Cano's death follows the killing late last year of top FARC military commander Mono Jojoy in a bombardment and assault on his camp.