Rebels Kill 29 Highland Peasants In Campaign Against Anti-Guerilla Patrols
AYACUCHO, Peru (AP) _ Knife-wielding rebels, in an apparent campaign against anti-guerilla patrols, killed 29 peasants and set homes afire in raids on three villages, police said Saturday.
Police said Shining Path guerillas killed 24 people early Saturday in Chacas, 20 miles northeast of Ayacucho. Villagers who fled Chacas for Ayacucho told police that the Maoist guerrillas beheaded many of their victims and firebombed their homes.
Police said the attack followed raids Wednesday on the towns of Pacomarco and Chacri, located near each other about 30 miles southeast of Ayacucho. Police said three anti-guerrilla patrol leaders were slain in Pacomarca and two women, accused of giving food to the Peruvian army, were killed in Chacri.
The Shining Path has slain more than 30 patrol members in Ayacucho state in the past month.
The patrols were organized by the military to resist guerrilla aggression.
The government said more than 10,000 people, mainly peasants, have been killed during the eight-year Shining Path insurgency.
The insurgency began in the rural highlands that surround Ayacucho, which is 235 miles southeast of Lima, but has spread to other mountain regions, coastal urban areas and the remote Amazon jungle.