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Peru special forces destroy 20 clandestine landing strips in jungle used by drug traffickers

Peru says special forces troops have destroyed 20 clandestine landing strips used to fly drugs out of the jungle to Bolivia and Brazil.

Military authorities said Wednesday that the landing strips were guarded by leftist Shining Path rebels, who finance their struggle by protecting drug traffickers.

Joint Command chief Adm. Jose Cueto and national police chief Gen. Jorge Flores say the operation in the valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers was conducted by 224 security agents using five tons of explosives, 10 helicopters and five hovercrafts.

They say security forces also destroyed 24 wells used to process coca leaves, the base ingredient for making cocaine.

Peru's government says the destruction of the landing strips and wells will hurt the Shining Path's finances.