FARC military leader "Mono Jojoy" killed in Colombia

12:19, September 24, 2010      

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  Profile: Briceno, Colombia's rebel FARC military chief

  Colombian guerrilla leader Jorge Briceno, known as "Mono Jojoy" gives orders in La Macarena in this file photo taken June 27, 2001. Top Colombian FARC rebel commander Mono Jojoy has been killed in combat, an army spokesman said on Thursday. The death of Mono Jojoy would be severest strike against the FARC, since two top commanders died in 2008. Mono Jojoy was considered the FARC's top military chief. Picture taken June 27, 2001. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

  The Colombian military said Thursday it killed the most influential military chief of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Jorge Briceno Suarez, known as "Mono Jojoy," died in an operation in the rebel stronghold La Macarena in central Colombia, said Attorney General Guillermo Mendoza.

  The operation that started Wednesday night involved special forces, air force and police intelligence.

  At least 20 guerrillas were killed during the operation.

  Briceno was born on Feb. 5, 1953. He was one of the most influential members of the FARC Secretariat.

  He joined the guerrilla organization in 1975 and has since worked his way up to the secretariat, the elite of the FARC command.

  Briceno was believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2002 and the 2003 El Nogal Club bombing in Bogota.

  The veteran guerrilla had no less than 62 arrest warrants against him.

  The U.S. State Department had offered at least five million U.S. dollars for information leading to his capture.

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