Peru to buy 8 Russian helicopters to fight `drug terrorism`
Moscow: Peru will buy eight Russian helicopters to use them in anti-drug operations, Peru`s Defence Minister Rafael Rey has said.
Peru is one of South America`s main cocaine producers along with Bolivia and Colombia, the country`s El Commercio paper said on Friday citing Rafael Rey.
The minister said six Mi-17 transport helicopters and two Mi-35 attack helicopters will be bought at a cost of USD 250 million.
They will be used to fight "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 guerrilla group intensified.
Sendero Luminoso - or the Shining Path, regarded by Peru as a terrorist organisation, is believed to have strong ties with drug traffickers. The group is on the US and EU lists of terrorist organisations.