Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has called top rebel military chief Mono Jojoy, who was killed by soldiers in a raid on his jungle camp, a 'symbol of terror' of Latin America's oldest insurgency.
Fifty-nine-year-old Jojoy was killed in an air strike and ground raid involving more than 30 planes and 25 helicopters, the army said. As many as 20 other rebels were also killed in the operation in the Macarena region, one of the Farc's last strongholds.
The rebel leader's hidden camp was a warren of tunnels including a concrete bunker to protect him from air strikes, Colombia's defense minister told reporters.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, President Santos said: "His long criminal career is over and the nightmare that he wanted to impose on Colombians is over. Jojoy was a symbol of terror in Colombia.
"Jojoy was a symbol of cruelty of the inhumanity of an organization that, for almost half a century, has played with the lives and liberty of Colombians."
The operation was a political and military victory for President Juan Manuel Santos, a former defense minister who took office in August vowing to keep up a hard line with the guerrillas and further reduce violence from the country's waning war.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, is at its weakest in decades after eight years of a US-backed security campaign to hunt down rebel chiefs and drive guerrillas back into remote jungles and mountains.