A Peruvian air force M-17 helicopter crashed Sept. 2 in the coca-growing region known as the Apurímac and Ene River Valley (VRAE) after being hit with rifle fire from presumed Sendero Luminoso insurgents, killing the pilot and co-pilot and gavely wounding an army solider on board. The attack occurred at San Antonio de Carrizales, Santo Domingo de Acobamba district, Huancayo province, Junín region, where the crew were attempting to rescue three soldiers wounded in a confrontation with presumed senderistas that morning. A second helicopter on the mission returned to the military base at Pichari, Cusco region. The rescue operation was abandoned. (El Comercio, La Republica, Lima, Sept. 3)
Defense Minister Rafael Rey, speaking before the Peruvian congress the next day, said the recent wave of “narco-terrorist” attacks in the VRAE should be considered a “crime against humanity.” Some of his comments were in a “secret session” closed to the press and public. (El Comercio, RPP, Peru, Sept. 3)
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