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One dead as Shining Path guerilla group remnants clash with Peru soldiers

14 September 2021, MVT 12:07
A card reading 'Terrorism Never Again' is seen among white roses at the site where a car bomb exploded on July 16, 1992 killing 25 people and wounding 155 on the deadliest Shining Path bombing, during a demonstration against terrorism in a commercial district of Lima on September 12, 2021: the suspected guerilla group member was killed in central Jungle region of Junin, according to Peru's military Twitter -- Photo: Gian Masko / AFP
14 September 2021, MVT 12:07

A suspected Shining Path guerilla was killed in clashes with soldiers and police in a remote coca leaf growing region of Peru's high jungle, the country's military said Monday.

The Shining Path spread terror in Peru in the 1980s and 1990s and was largely destroyed by the 2000s, but a rump group fled to the mountainous eastern slopes of Peru's Andes and authorities say they work as hired guns for drug traffickers growing coca, the source plant of cocaine.

Armed forces and police members killed "a criminal terrorist of comrade Pucanahui's column" in a clash in the central jungle region of Junin, Peru's military said via Twitter.

The area is a known coca growing region between the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers known by the acronym VRAEM. Peru, along with Colombia and Bolivia, are the world's top growers of coca leaf.

Weapons and communication gear was taken from the enemy, the statement read.

This is the first such attack since leftist President Pedro Castillo took office on July 28.

The body of Abimael Guzman, the former leader of Peru's Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path, arrives at a mortuary in Lima on September 11, 2021. - Guzman died on September 11, 2021, at the age of 86, while serving a life sentence since 1992. The former university philosophy professor, hospitalized since July 20, spent his last 29 years in prison carrying on his back the intellectual responsibility for one of the bloodiest conflicts in Latin America, with 70,000 dead and disappeared in two decades (1980-2000) according to figures of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2003). -- Photo by STRINGER / AFP

The founder and former leader of the brutal Shining Path guerrillas, Abimael Guzman, died Saturday while serving time in a maximum security prison near Lima. He was 86.

Peruvian officials have yet to say if they will release Guzman's body to a person assigned by his wife for burial, or cremate the remains and spread the ashes in the sea lest his grave become a rallying point for supporters.

Several right-wing politicians, deeply mistrustful of the Castillo administration, on Monday demanded to be allowed to see the body -- held under guard in a city morgue -- to confirm Guzman's death.


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