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Cablegate: Peru: Shining Path Blamed for Ambush

VZCZCXRO3072
PP RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHMT
RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHPE #1809 3222127
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 172127Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9625
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS LIMA 001809

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PTER SNAR PE
SUBJECT: PERU: SHINING PATH BLAMED FOR AMBUSH

REF: A. LIMA 1678
B. 07 LIMA 3915

1. (U) Authorities are blaming remnants of the Shining Path
("Sendero" or "SL") terrorist group for a November 16 ambush
that killed three police and severely wounded another. The
group was traveling in the south-central department of
Ayacucho when it came under machine gun fire from an
undetermined number of assailants at approximately 2:30 a.m.
local time, according to press reports. Interior Minister
Remigio Hernani said authorities' preliminary hypothesis was
that the attack was in revenge for drug seizures the police
had made in the area.

2. (U) This most recent attack brings to near 30 the number
of police killed in the VRAE in the last three years. It is
the first such attack since the mid-October violence that
killed or wounded dozens of police and military (ref A).
Experts say the area where this attack took place, near the
town of Huanta, north of the department's capital of
Huamanga,is a principal exit route for cocaine produced in
the purimac and Ene Valley (VRAE) to the east. Huanta was
also the site of the December 24, 2007 ambush that killed two
police (ref B).
MCKINLEY

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