Russia sends Peru Mi-35 helicopters to fight rebels

LIMA — Peru will receive two Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters next month to fight drug traffickers and Shining Path guerrillas, Peruvian air force chief Carlos Samame said Sunday.

Samame told state news agency Andina that the helicopters “are intended to bolster our fight in the Apurimac River Valley” in southeastern Peru.

Last year, the Peruvian government bought six Mi-17 transport helicopters and two Mi-35s for military operations in the country’s major cocoa-producing valleys.

Samame said the Mi-35s are equipped with artillery that has great fire power and will become a “cornerstone” in the government’s fight against the Maoist-inspired Shining Path, a group that was largely crushed by the mid-1990s but remains active in the jungles of southeastern Peru.

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