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  HOME | Peru

Peruvian Soldier Reported Missing in Area Where Rebels Operate

LIMA Ė A non-commissioned officer disappeared while taking part in an army operation along the Ene River in the strife-torn Valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers, or VRAEM, where drug traffickers and the remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla group operate, the Armed Forces Joint Command said.

Kemy Sanchez Vinces, who belongs to a counterinsurgency battalion assigned to the VRAEM Special Command, was reported missing on Wednesday while doing reconnaissance along the river, the Armed Forces Joint Command said in a statement.

Troops from the Valle Esmeralda counterinsurgency base were deployed by the VRAEM Special Command to search for Sanchez Vinces, while a helicopter was sent to assist in the operation and the Boca Anapati and Quiteni bases were alerted, the command said.

The search for Sanchez Vinces will continue until he is found, the Armed Forces Joint Command said.

On April 9, the day before Peruís general elections, a patrol from the 311th Counterinsurgency Battalion was attacked by remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla group as it traveled from Santo Domingo de Acobamba district to Matichacra, a town in Junin region, to provide security for voters.

Ten people, including eight soldiers and two civilians, were killed, while five others were wounded in the attack on the patrol.

A second attack on the same day targeted navy personnel assigned to the VRAEM Special Command as they operated on the Apurimac River near Quisto Valle, a town in Ayacucho region.

The Shining Pathís remnants operate in the rough terrain of the VRAEM, an area that has been under a continuous state of emergency due to its status as one of Peruís largest illegal coca-growing regions.

The Maoist-inspired Shining Path launched its uprising on May 17, 1980, with an attack on Chuschi, a small town in Ayacucho province.

 

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