LIMA Dec 20 At least 12 police officers were
killed and a dozen were wounded in a remote Andean region in
Peru when their bus skidded off an unpaved road and tumbled down
a cliff, the government said on Tuesday.
The officers were headed to the highland province of
Antabamba to provide security for talks between government
officials and residents who have staged protests to demand a
paved highway in the region.
Two helicopters retrieved the wounded from the bottom of the
cliff, the Interior Ministry said. Four officers were in
critical condition in the southern Peruvian city of Cusco, said
regional health director Jorge Ponce.
Road accidents kill dozens of people every year high in the
Peruvian Andes, where driving is rarely policed and most routes
curve sharply but are unpaved.
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, five months into his
five-year term, has promised to bring sorely needed
infrastructure to poor rural regions as part of his promise to
reduce inequality and bolster domestic demand.
"Today's a day of mourning because 13 police officers have
died unnecessarily in a highway in Andes," Kuczynski said during
a ceremony for graduating police officers.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement earlier on Tuesday
that 12 had died and that it was investigating the incident.
(Reporting by Ursula Scollo and Mitra Taj; Editing by Lisa Von