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Alleged Peru Rebels on Crime Spree

February 2, 2000

LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Suspected Shining Path rebels killed three park rangers and robbed passenger buses and cargo trucks during a rash of attacks in Peru’s central Andes, authorities said Wednesday.

The rangers were shot Tuesday by masked assailants in a reserve for vicuna, a small non-domesticated relative of the llama, about 275 miles southeast of the capital, Lima.

On Monday, five masked intruders broke into the home of a rancher in a nearby village and gunned him down in front of his family.

A spokeswoman for the Prefect of Ayacucho, the highland department where the killings took place, said all the victims had their hands bound and had been killed by a single bullet to the head, a ``trademark of Shining Path″ rebels.

The rebels also stopped several passenger buses and trucks between Saturday and Tuesday, robbing the occupants of food and cash, officials said.

In one case, passengers of a minibus captured two of their assailants and turned them in to authorities, the spokeswoman said.

The Shining Path raged during the late 1980s and early 1990s with the widespread attacks, assassinations of mayors and informers and a vicious car-bombing campaign in Lima.

In recent years, the group’s power was diminished with the capture of several high level leaders.

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