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Shining Path rebel leader captured in Peru jungle

Shining Path rebel leader captured in Peru jungle
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The leader of Peru’s once-powerful Shining Path rebel group has been captured after being shot in a remote jungle.

“Comrade Artemio” as he is known was flown to hospital in the capital Lima following his arrest by security forces.

He reportedly suffered a punctured lung and a severe wound to his right hand.

The government says his arrest marks the end of the Shining Path in the Huallaga Valley, which has long been a centre of the cocaine trade in Peru.

Peruvian police had tried for years to arrest Artemio; the US offered a multimillion dollar reward for information leading to his capture.

Shining Path has long been suspected of a bombing near the US embassy in Lima ten years ago that killed nine people.

Nearly 70,000 people died in Peru’s bloody internal conflict in the 1980s and 90s, but Shining Path is now a far cry from the powerful and feared left-wing force that once threatened the state.

The rebel group is thought to have survived in recent years by charging fees to guard drug trafficking routes.

No details have been released about the operation that snared Artemio. After he was injured his aides are said to have forced a nurse at gunpoint to treat him, before they eventually abandoned him as the army closed in.

The capture has given President Ollanta Humala his first major victory against the Shining Path.

But his interior minister has said armed groups and the drugs trade are not going to go away.