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Colombia says top rebel leader believed killed

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Saturday that security forces apparently killed a senior commander of the leftist FARC guerrillas who is wanted by the United States.
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Saturday that security forces apparently killed a senior commander of the leftist FARC guerrillas who is wanted by the United States.

Santos said preliminary information indicated that an air bombing by Colombian forces on Saturday killed Fabian Ramirez, second in command of the southern block of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

"The information that the defense minister has given me which has come from the area is that they've found four or five bodies and apparently this bandit was killed," Santos said during a weekly address.

"I say apparently because it's not confirmed, but they found his two pistols, his bags, wrist clasps and his computers."

Ramirez was close to the FARC's upper command.

The U.S. has a $2.5 million reward out for his capture. It says he is responsible for more than 1,000 tons of cocaine production.

Colombia, once considered a failing state, has drastically improved its security with a U.S.-backed offensive against armed groups that opened up parts of the country once under rebel control and spurred an influx in foreign investment.