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Member Of Austrian Medical Group Slain

April 19, 1989

LIMA, Peru (AP) _ The body of an Austrian official of a medical aid group was found beside a road in an eastern city, and police said the victim had been shot twice in the head.

La Republica, a Lima newspaper, said Tuesday that Josef Piescher was killed by the Shining Path, a Maoist guerrilla movement.

But officials said the motive for the attack and circumstances have not been determined and an investigation is continuing.

La Republica reported a man claiming to be a member of the Shining Path said in a phone call to a Pucallpa radio station that Piescher was killed because he was a U.S. CIA agent conducting anti-insurgency activities.

The Peruvian government and Austrian Embassy said police found Piescher’s body Monday on the outskirts of Pucallpa, 355 miles northeast of Lima.

Austrian Ambassador Udo Ehrlich-Adam told The Associated Press that Piescher was vice president of the private Amazon Fluvial Aid program and he had been killed Sunday night or early Monday.

He said Piescher was about 40 years old and had arrived in Peru a week ago on a regular inspection visit.

Amazon Fluival Aid is headquartered in Vienna and has its Peruvian base in Pucallpa to provide medical assistance to Indians living along the regional rivers, according to the ambassador.

Piescher was the fourth foreign aid worker to be killed in Peru since last June.

Police blamed Shining Path guerrillas for the killing of Constantine Gregory, 25, of Los Angeles in June and the slayings of two French aid workers in December. Gregory, a U.S. agriculture adviser, was killed in a hamlet near the city of Huancayo, 125 miles east of Lima.

Police reported Shining Path guerrillas killed a mine union leader in Cerro de Pasco and a village mayor and his wife in Cachachi. They said the shootings occurred Sunday but reports did not arrive here until Tuesday from the remote sites in the Andes Mountains.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in violence linked to the Shining Path since the group began its fight against the government nine years ago.

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