Colombian Troops Kill Top FARC Leader

He's the group's highest-ranking member to be killed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2008 1:21 PM CST
Raul Reyes, a top rebel leader and chief negotiator for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), second right, stands with Andres Pastrana, who was Colombia's current president, right, and other...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Colombian forces have for the first time killed one of FARC's top leaders, the BBC reports. The military attacked a rebel camp and killed Raul Reyes, a member of the group's ruling secretariat who had been a top candidate to take over the organization. The attack comes just days after FARC released four hostages, but President Uribe has rejected requests to grant the group concessions.

Reyes, 59, had been the group’s main voice in international negotiations, including the failed three-year talks with the previous government. Sixteen other rebels were killed in the attack, which targeted a camp a mile inside the Ecuadorian border. It's the "biggest blow" in FARC's 44-year history, a Colombian official said.