Peru says 5 killed in Amazon protest

June 5, 2009 9:50:53 AM PDT
Peruvian authorities say five police officers have been killed by Indians protesting against oil and gas exploration on their ancestral lands in Peru's Amazon. Indigenous leaders say 15 protesters were killed in the clash in an area called Cruz del Diablo -- or "Devil's Cross" -- in Utcubamba province.

Police Gen. Luis Muguruza tells Peruvian radio from the Amazon that five police officers were killed in an attack by Indians with firearms.

The clash apparently began before dawn Friday.

The president of the protest group, Alberto Pizango, reported the 15 Indian deaths.

Indigenous leaders in Peru's Amazon oppose a government push to develop their ancestral lands. They say it violates international law.

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