Armed forces clarify details on attack at military base in Ayacucho

Peru’s Joint Command of Armed Forces (CCFFAA) clarified on Thursday that one soldier was injured when narco-terrorists attacked a military base in Ayacucho’s Huanta province, the CCFFAA said in a release.

The joint command said a counter-terrorist base was attacked at about 12:45 p.m. on Thursday by narco-terrorists using long range missiles. One sergeant was injured around the hip and later transferred to a local hospital.

According to preliminary reports cited by daily El Comercio, there were at least four soldiers injured when suspected remnants of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency attacked the army’s base. The report said that the attackers were made up of three Shining Path columns with approximately 60 insurgents.

“The Joint Command denies for not corresponding with reality the information provided by some members of the press in the sense that there were more (soldiers) injured,” the CCFFAA said.

The attack on the base on Thursday came only two days after a police officer and two people eradicating coca leaves – the raw material used to make cocaine – were killed allegedly by Shining Path insurgents.

Agriculture Minister Adolfo de Córdova denied that the recent attacks are signs of a resurgent insurgency in the Andean country, state news agency Andina reported.

The Shining Path insurgency began 30 years ago under the leadership of Abimael Guzmán, a former philosophy professor in the Ayacucho.

The once 10,000-strong Maoist rebel group nearly brought Peru’s government to its knees during the 1980s with car bombings, assassinations and brazen attacks on police and military outposts.

Although the group lost momentum following the 1992 capture of its founder Abimael Guzman – who is serving life in a naval prison – sporadic Shining Path attacks still claim lives every year.

According to Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 54 percent of all deaths in Peru’s two decade-long conflict were caused by the Maoist Shining Path insurgency. Peru’s armed forces were blamed for 30 percent, and most of the remaining deaths by government-backed peasant militias.

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