An army helicopter was shot down by rebels in southern-central Peru Wednesday afternoon, and two pilots were killed, said Defense Minister Rafael Rey.
The helicopter was trying to rescue three soldiers wounded in a clash with the rebels in the Santo Domingo region in the province of Junin Wednesday morning, Rey said.
One soldier on the helicopter was injured, apart from the two killed in the incident, thus bringing the number of wounded and stranded soldiers in the area to four.
"The helicopter was hit at long range as it was preparing to land for the rescue," Rey said. "We aren't going to leave our injured or dead there."
He said the next mission will be sent out Friday morning to look for those wounded.
The army launched a raid a week ago on the Shining Path rebels which are involved in cocaine trafficking. The attack on the helicopter has been a retaliation.