Three guerrillas were killed in a clash with army troops in the southeastern region of Cuzco, the Peruvian armed forces Joint Command said Tuesday.
A civilian woman was wounded in the incident involving personnel from the army’s Special Intelligence Brigade and suspected elements of the Shining Path rebel group, the military said in a statement.
The brigade has been deployed since last Wednesday in a sector of the Echarate district traversed by the Camisea gas pipeline.
The troops have been taking part in Operation Cunshireni 2014, whose aim is tracking down a Shining Path contingent, the Joint Command said.
A patrol from the brigade encountered a rebel unit and a battle ensued, leaving three guerrillas dead and an area resident wounded.
The troops confiscated a machine gun, two assault rifles, a shotgun and a pistol, the armed forces said.
The encounter took place in a territory region the military has designated as the Valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers, or VRAEM, where most of Peru’s coca - the raw material of cocaine - is grown.
Soldiers remain “in pursuit of those criminals,” Peru’s president, Ollanta Humala, said Tuesday in comments about the clash in Cuzco.
“It has been an important operation against the criminal bands in the VRAEM who dedicate themselves to transporting drugs and to extortion,” the president told reporters during a visit to the southern region of Puno.
The civilian woman wounded in the exchange of gunfire is in stable condition at a clinic in the city of Quillabamba, Humala said.
The Maoist-inspired Shining Path insurgency erupted in 1980 and killed tens of thousands of people before its core elements were smashed in 1992.
But remnants of the group remain active in isolated areas.
Authorities accuse the surviving Shining Path units of having joined forces with drug cartels.