6 Nov 2011

Rebel leader killed by Colombian military

4:28 am on 6 November 2011

Colombian forces have killed the leader of the FARC rebel group, Alfonso Cano, in combat.

The defence ministry says it delivers another serious blow to Latin America's longest guerrilla insurgency.

FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, has been battered by an American-backed military campaign that began in 2002 and the insurgency has lost several key commanders in the last four years.

President Juan Manuel Santos came to office last year promising to keep up a hardline stance against the guerrillas.

Reuters reports that while the action is unlikely to bring a swift end to nearly five decades of war, it will further damage the rebel group's ability to regroup and co-ordinate high-profile attacks.