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Six Killed in Peru Clash Between Army, Rebels

Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru

Four soldiers and two members of the Shining Path guerilla group died Monday in a clash in Peru's largest coca-growing area, the army said in a statement.

The fighting broke out at dawn as soldiers were attacked while on patrol in the south-central Andes — a region where armed forces for two decades have been fighting drug trafficking gangs and the remnants of the Shining Path group.

The soldiers had been carrying out "territorial control" operations, said the statement, adding three other officers were wounded and taken to the hospital.

Peru is the world's second-largest producer of cocaine after Colombia.

In 2022, some 95,000 hectares (23,500 acres) of coca leaf, the raw material for the drug, were planted, according to monitoring data from Peruvian authorities.

The Shining Path is a Maoist rebel group that emerged in the 1980s seeking to overthrow Peru's government. Almost all of its leaders are now dead or imprisoned, with only a few hundred members operating in remote areas.

Two decades of fighting between the army and guerrillas left some 70,000 dead, according to the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.