Unidentified gunmen ambushed two police vehicles transporting suspected drug traffickers Monday in Peru's central jungle, killing five officers and wounding two other people, including one policeman and a local prosecutor, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear what happened to the two drug suspects, whose identities were not released. The attack occurred early Monday near the town of San Francisco, 45 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of this provincial capital city, Police Gen. Oscar Ponce told The Associated Press.
Ayacucho Regional President Omar Quesada told local radio the police were transporting two suspected drug traffickers when the gunmen opened fire. It was not immediately clear what happened to the drug suspects, whose identities were not released.
Peru's Interior Minister Romulo Pizzaro said authorities were investigating whether the gunmen were Maoist Shining Path guerrillas, who provide protection for cocaine traffickers. Pizzaro said about 100 police were sent into the zone, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Lima, to investigate the ambush, AP reports.
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