Two Peruvian security force members were killed Monday in an armed clash with remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla movement in a key coca-growing region, the government said.
A soldier and police officer were killed along with four guerrillas during security activities against drug trafficking, in the southern Ayacucho region, Peru-ss defense and interior ministries said in a joint statement.
The combined military and police unit was patrolling in the valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers -- collectively known as the Vraem river valley -- when the violence broke out.
The valley is one of Peru-s largest coca growing areas and the scene of periodic clashes between the military and drug trafficking gangs. The statement said the man leading the rebel contingent was also killed.
In March, a Shining Path ambush on a local farming community left two civilians dead. Peru is one of the world-s largest producers of coca leaf and cocaine, along with Bolivia and Colombia.