Two soldiers were killed and at least two others wounded in the second confrontation in the past few weeks between Peru’s Army and the Shining Path guerrilla group.
According to reports, members of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) ambushed a security forces patrol in a forested area of the Ene-Apurimac river valleys, known as the VRAE, the guerrillas’ main area of influence.
This followed an attack on June 4, when rebels attacked and killed five soldiers on the weekend of the presidential elections. Reports earlier in 2011 said there had been as many as 50 members of the security forces killed since the government intensified its efforts in the VRAE region in 2008.
Defense Minister Jaime Thorne said that the Shining Path’s area of operation had been reduced from 34,000 sq. km (around 13,000 sq. miles) to only 5,000 sq. km (around 3,000 sq. miles) in the last five years.
The Shining Path began as a Marxist group intent on dismantling the Peruvian government in the 1980s, but has seen a sharp decline in its power since the 1990s.