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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
New 'Shining Path' threat in Peru
Aftermath of a car bomb at the US embassy in Lima in 2002
Ten people were killed in a blast at the US embassy in Lima in 2002
A man claiming to be one of the last remaining leaders of Peru's Shining Path rebel group still at large has threatened to resume violence.

The masked man, known as Artemio, said the group would renew its armed struggle if the government did not grant an amnesty to jailed leaders.

The threat came in an interview taped in the jungles of central Peru.

But Peru's Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi said the government would respond "drastically and swiftly".

In the interview, broadcast by America Television and RPP radio, Artemio wore a ski-mask which completely covered his face, as well as camouflage trousers and a black t-shirt.

He appeared in the company of several men dressed in the same way.

'Armed activities'

He called on the government to find a political solution to the conflict and said: "We're giving the government 60 days to respond."

He threatened "the renewal of armed activities", which he said included sabotage and assassinations.

The broadcasters said the interview had been carried out at a rebel camp which took several hours to reach, but gave no indication of how they could prove Artemio's identity.

However, the television station said it had been contacted after Artemio issued a similar threat in a British TV interview and got no response.

Shining Path rebels launched a campaign of violence 24 years ago, but their activities declined significantly after the capture of the group's founder, Abimael Guzman, in 1992.

Sporadic attacks have been carried out on security forces in recent years.

In March 2002, the Shining Path was blamed for a car bomb attack near the US embassy in Lima that killed 10 people.

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Peru's Shining Path - who are they?
15 Jul 99  |  Americas

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