Assailants Rob 400 People on Peru Highway


LIMA – Some 400 people riding in different vehicles were held up in southeastern Peru on a remote highway that assailants closed down for four hours, police officials told Efe on Tuesday.

The incident began late Sunday night when a gang of 10 to 15 robbers blocked a highway with boulders in the southern region of Puno on the Bolivian border.

Once the road was blocked, the robbers, who according to witnesses were hooded and armed with military rifles, assaulted each vehicle that came along the highway.

For four hours the gang stopped buses, trucks and private cars and snatched everything from cash to jewelry, aided by the isolation and lack of communication of an area so remote that even the nearest police station had no office telephone of its own.

The gangsters refused to let anyone leave and made people get out of their vehicles and lie face down along the highway while the holdup lasted.

According to information provided by witnesses, police estimate that the robbers stole money and valuables worth some 500,000 sols ($181,000).

Police said they have launched investigations to nab the robbers and have assigned more than 50 agents to the task.