An ambush by rebels in south-east Peru has killed at least 12 soldiers and seven civilians, said the defence ministry.
Late on Thursday, the attack took place as a military convoy returned to a base in Huancavelica province. (photo, from bbc.co.uk)
The rebels belong the the Shining Path, the military believes. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Maoist-inspired group has wrought havoc in Peru.
It is thought to be their worst attack in a decade.
Almost 70 000 people were killed during the violence in the 1980s and 1990s, when the guerilla group tried to impose a communist regime.
Yet, in recent years, the conflict has been largely dormant.
Though its fighters still control remote coca-growing areas in Peru’s central jungle and are heavily involved in the drugs trade, analysts say the Shining Path is a fraction of its former size.
In order to remove an estimated 300 Shining Path rebels who work in the cocaine in the region, the army is reported to have launched an operation in recent weeks.