Potential Hot Spots: July 10, 2003


: The Shining Path is on the warpath again. Shining Path guerrillas struck a Peruvian Army special forces patrol in the Avacucho region. Seven were killed. The report specified six of the seven as: three special forces troops, one Peruvian marine, and two civilian guides (local scouts). Ten other troops were wounded. This is the largest attack on the Peruvian military in four years, though last month Shining Path rebels kidnapped several pipeline workers in the region. A wire service report said the patrol was heli-lifted to the village of Matucana after receiving a report that 50 to 60 Shining Path guerrillas had entered the village on July 9. The patrol then moved out on foot and was ambushed. A subsequent report said that local sources (including information supplied by local self-defense militia members, "ronderos") indicated the Shining Path rebel group was armed with new, lightweight assault rifles. Where is the money coming from for new weapons? The Peruvian report said villagers in the region believe the Shining Path rebels are protecting coca growers. Narcotics once again meets politics. (Austin Bay)


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