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Peru rebels kidnap gas workers


Shining Path rebels have kidnapped dozens of workers in Peru's natural gas industry before letting most of them go hours later in a remote jungle, officials and local radio said.

At least 23 of 30 hostages have been freed, RPP radio said on Monday. Most kidnap victims were employees of the Swedish firm Skanska, which services a natural gas pipeline in southeastern Peru, officials said.

President Ollanta Humala, a former military officer, has vowed to capture remnant bands of Shining Path rebels that went into Peru's thriving cocaine trade after the Maoist founders of the insurgency were imprisoned in the early 1990s.

"Shining Path rebels took them hostage early this morning in the village of Kepashiato," an official from the pipeline company said. "They took them from the hotel where they were sleeping."

Neither the government nor Skanska has said whether they had intervened to free some of the workers.

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