Twenty-six children and thirteen women were among forty people rescued by Peruvian special forces when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left wing Shining Path rebel group.
Many women who were held captive were raped resulting in a great number of the freed children being born inside the camp.
The children rescued in the raid were from birth to fourteen years old.It is the largest number of children to ever be rescued from the rebels in a single operation.
Many of the people held captive are from the Ashaninka indigenous group. Rebels used captives for forced labor in the fields and some children were recruited into rebel ranks from the early age of 13.
Captives reported being inside the camp for 25-30 years. It was through a man that escaped the rebel camp one month ago that forces were able to locate the children and free them.
While the Shining Path posed very little threat to the Peruvian government, the rebels have continued to remain active in cocaine production occasionally attacking security forces in the jungle.
Roughly one hundred and twenty soldiers and police offices participated in getting all the people held captive to safety.