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Homeland Security

Peru to buy eight Russian helicopters for anti-drug efforts

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) - Peru will buy eight Russian helicopters to use them in anti-drug efforts, the country's El Commercio paper said on Friday citing Defense Minister Rafael Rey.

Peru is one of South America's main cocaine producers along with Bolivia and Columbia.

The minister said six Mi-17 transport helicopters and two Mi-35 attack helicopters will be bought at the price of $250 million.

They will be used to fight with "drug terrorism" in the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene River, the paper said in its online edition.

The area was declared a zone of military operations in August 2009 as fighting between the government troops and the Sendero Luminoso Maoist guerilla group intensified.

Sendero Luminoso, regarded by Peru as a terrorist organization, is believed to have strong ties with drug traffickers. The group is on the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist organizations.

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