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a time for fear
Thursday, June 26, 2003  
Peruvian development hidden in the Guardian today: Shining Path querrillas killed a Peruvian soldier and wounded two others yesterday when they ambushed a patrol seeking the kidnappers of 71 people seized earlier this month.

This mass kidnapping occured on the 10th, and hit Agentinian, Columbian and Chilean workers who were building a gas pipeline for the Argentinian petroleum company Techint. Shining Path snatched them from their base camp in the Andeans and demanded a ransom of $1 million, 20 radios, 500 boxes of explosives, vitamins and antibiotics. Then the Peruvian government sent in the army, so Shining Path released the hostages the next day, dumping them in Palma Pampa, 250 miles south east of Lima. SP are supposed to be down to a core group of about 750, with very slight pockets of support remaining amongst the Andean peasants, so this attack was surprisingly audacious, if much less brutal than their former offensives. This, in fact, seems remarkably unlike them and more like Columbia's FARC who specialise in extraordinary kidnappings, like snatching prominent officals from government buildings and flying them into the mountains with helicopters, then holding them ransom for weeks at a time. Still, this is enough to add to rumours of a Shining Path resurrection, however unlikely and unfounded.

11:17 PM

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