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3 Slain in Possible Rebel Attack Ahead of Peru's Election

  • Reuters

Self-defense members standing guard, top, talk as a soldier patrols outside a school that will be used as a polling station in Uchuraccay, Peru, April 9, 2016. Peruvians head to the ballot box for general elections on Sunday.

Self-defense members standing guard, top, talk as a soldier patrols outside a school that will be used as a polling station in Uchuraccay, Peru, April 9, 2016. Peruvians head to the ballot box for general elections on Sunday.

Three people were killed and six were injured early Saturday in an attack staged by suspected leftist Shining Path rebels on the eve of Peru's presidential election, authorities said.

The attack, in a remote coca-growing region of the Andean nation, occurred as military officials transported materials for the election, the head of Peru's armed forces, Jorge Moscoso, told reporters.

Two of the victims were military personnel and the third was a civilian driver, he said.

The Maoist-inspired Shining Path guerrilla group was largely dismantled in the 1990s, but hundreds of insurgents still control swaths of a jungle-covered region of Peru known for its production of coca, the raw material for cocaine.

"This is a sign that more still needs to be done," said outgoing President Ollanta Humala, a former army officer. "Terrorists are no longer a threat to the Peruvian state, but they have shown they can still cause harm."

Peruvians will vote Sunday in the fourth presidential election since the end of a decade-long battle between insurgents and state security forces commanded by former President Alberto Fujimori that claimed an estimated 69,000 lives.

Fujimori is now serving a 25-year sentence for ordering death squads to massacre civilians in his crackdown on rebels.

A sign of Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori is seen in the district of Piuray, ahead of Sunday's election, in Cuzco, April 9, 2016.

A sign of Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori is seen in the district of Piuray, ahead of Sunday's election, in Cuzco, April 9, 2016.

The legacy of the conflict — one of Latin America's bloodiest — has surfaced in this year's presidential race as Peruvians who credit Fujimori with stamping out the Shining Path rally behind his daughter, front-runner Keiko Fujimori.

Keiko Fujimori is the clear favorite in Sunday's election but is not expected to win outright with a simple majority. She has marketed herself as the candidate who is toughest on crime.

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