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Helicopters burned by Peru rebels at jungle airfield

Shining Path rebels burned three helicopters used by a private gas consortium on Saturday, leaving Peru's only natural gas pipeline without maintenance services.

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A Peruvian military helicopter patrols the remote jungle where Shining Path guerrillas kidnapped dozens of gas workers on April 9. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Shining Path rebels burned three helicopters used by a private gas consortium on Saturday, leaving Peru's only natural gas pipeline without maintenance services.

The left-wing rebels carried out the attack in central Cusco, the same region where they kidnapped a group of gas workers in April, according to BBC News. No one was injured or abducted in Saturday's attack, although it is not clear why the rebels attacked the jungle airfield in Kiteni.

BB also reported that local media said the rebels may have been trying to ambush a military patrol, and decided to attack the airstrip when they failed at their initial mission.

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Following the incident, the consortium that looks after the pipeline, Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP) said it would suspend all maintenance work in the region, reported Reuters. The burned aircrafts were used by the company to dispatch maintenance workers along the pipeline in Peru's southern jungles.

"This most recent incident, on top of causing the total suspension of maintenance activities in the conflict zone, makes it impossible for us to respond to any emergency situation or incident that could affect transport," TGP said in a statement. "We trust that the state will provide the resources and take the steps necessary to reestablish security in the area."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/peru/121008/helicopters-burned-peru-rebels-at-jungle-airfield