Security officials in Peru say at least seven policemen have been killed in an ambush while on patrol in the central region of Aucayacu Tuesday.

A spokesman for the security forces says at least one officer was wounded at the scene.

Officials say the officers were attacked by members of the "Shining Path" guerrilla group still operating in the area.

The Latin American news service Efe reports security officials believe the attack may have been in retaliation for recent coca plant eradication efforts carried out by security forces in the area. The coca plant provides the main ingredient in cocaine.

The Maoist-inspired "Shining Path" rebel group had thousands of fighters at its peak in the 1980s and early 1990s. About 70,000 people died over nearly two decades of violence.