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Peru insurgents down copter

September 04, 2009|Associated Press

LIMA, PERU — Shining Path rebels shot down an air force helicopter in Peru's coca-growing highlands, killing three troops and wounding five, Peru's joint command said Thursday.

Peru's fight against the insurgency has flared up in the last week, with guerrillas ambushing army patrols and attacking an army base. Five military personnel have been killed and 10 wounded.

The military says three rebels have been arrested and four killed, though the deaths are unconfirmed.

The rebels shot down the helicopter with machine-gun fire late Wednesday in Sinaycocha, a mountain village along a drug-smuggling corridor in Junin province.

Shining Path rebels were once nearly defeated by the government, but in recent years have rearmed and regrouped in smaller numbers with money they earn from the cocaine trade.

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