13 soldiers killed in Peru guerrilla ambush

April 13th, 2009 - 1:02 am ICT by IANS  

Lima, April 12 (EFE) Thirteen troopers in Peru have been killed by a rebel guerrilla group, Defence Minister Antero Flores-Araoz said Sunday.
According to the minister, the Shining Path guerrillas ambushed two army patrols in a jungle area in southern province of Ayacucho last Thursday, killing 13 soldiers and injuring three others.

Two troopers have also been missing since the attacks, Flores-Araoz said.

The Peruvian Army expressed its “deepest condolences to the families” of the dead soldiers, calling the men “valiant defenders of the fatherland and democracy”.

Flores-Araoz, for his part, said the government would not change its policy of fighting the guerrillas, who are backed by drug cartels.

“The important thing is that we are going to win this war. It was a cunning, cowardly ambush,” the defence minister said.

The Shining Path is a Maoist group fighting the government since the 1980s. Its objective is to replace the “bourgeois” democracy with a new form of democracy.

But experts believe that the group has now turned into a drug cartel operating in the southern region of the Latin American country.

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