LIMA - Shining Path rebels on Friday killed three members of Peru's security forces and wounded two others while they were searching for police who disappeared in an earlier ambush, the armed forces said.
It was the latest setback to the government's push to retake a lawless bundle of jungle valleys in southeastern Peru where a remnant band of Maoist rebels runs cocaine trafficking in the world's most densely planted region of coca plantations.
"Two patrol groups of the armed forces clashed with narco-terrorists," the high command of the armed forces said in a statement. "Operations have been intensified in the zone to capture them."
President Ollanta Humala, a former military officer, has increased troop deployments as he responds to a public outcry that rebels brazenly kidnapped 36 natural gas workers, shot down a helicopter and killed up to six security agents two weeks ago.