Security forces in Peru are battling a renewed campaign by leftist rebels. The Shining Path movement is suspected of being behind two recent ambushes in a mountainous region of the country that left 13 troops dead.
There have been 11 such attacks since the start of the year. The government claims the group is now motivated by drugs trafficking rather than leftist ideology.
Peruvian Prime Minister Yehude Simon said: “They don’t understand that violence must be part of the past of this country. Some of them must have a sick mind. They continue to kill soldiers and police officers but this is not going to defeat the army nor the police, much less democracy.”
Their actions are concentrated in one of the country’s main coca-farming regions. The Maoist Shining Path’s campaign of violence reached its peak in the 1980s. At one stage there were almost daily car bombings in the capital.
But its effectiveness began to fade after the capture of its founder in 1992. Where once it could boast some 10,000 fighters among its ranks, membership is now said to have dwindled to around 500.