RealNews

Peru in New Bid to Eliminate Shining Path Guerillas

Peru is to arm thousands of poor farmers and peasants in its southern Andes to help the military stamp out resurgent Shining Path guerrillas, Aurelio Loret de Mola, the Defence Minister, says. The government is screening so-called “ronderos” – villagers who patrol their communities to ward off the rebels – so they can aid soldiers hunt down columns of the Maoist group in difficult jungle mountain terrain. “The strategy is to renew the weapons of the village self-defence committees and give them ammunition,” Loret de Mola said late on Tuesday. “It is not a question of arming them for the sake of it, it is about trying to organise ourselves as Peru did in the past,”he said, adding the military would be working with them in the field from September. Guerillas regrouping The guerrillas are slowly regrouping. Some are as young as 12, according to villagers and the government. Last year, the guerrillas killed 10 people in Lima with a car bomb just days before a high-profile visit by George W. Bush, the US president. The rebels kidnapped and later released more than 70 workers building a gas pipeline in June,and killed five soldiers and two civilians in an ambush this month. Full Story

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