February 7, 2000
Rebels take guards in deadly prison riot in Peru

                   LIMA, Peru (AP) -- About 50 convicted Maoist-Shining Path rebels
                   in a frigid Andean prison were holding guards hostage Monday, after a riot
                   that left at least two people dead.

                   One guard and one rebel were killed in riots at Yanamayo prison that were
                   started Sunday by rebels loyal to Oscar Ramirez Durand, who was
                   captured last year, said cable news station Canal N.

                   The rebels, armed with homemade knives, took an undetermined number of
                   guards hostage and demanded to be treated as prisoners of war instead of
                   terrorists, news stations reported.

                   Officials declined to confirm or deny the reports. Television broadcast
                   images of heavily armed police surrounding the prison.

                   Dr. Elias Aycacha, director of the Puno State Hospital told Peruvian radio
                   that three police guards had been injured, one critically.

                   A Justice Ministry spokesman in Lima said the rebels had been demanding
                   better prison conditions and more frequent family visits. President Alberto
                   Fujimori and Justice Minister Alberto Bustamante had visited the prison last
                   week to review conditions.

                   The Yanamayo prison is 12,700 feet above sea level in Puno, 525 miles
                   southeast of the capital Lima and near the Bolivian border.

                   New York native Lori Berenson was held there until being transferred in
                   1998 for health reasons. A military judge convicted Berenson, 30, of treason
                   in 1996 for helping lead a thwarted assault on Congress by the Tupac
                   Amaru Revolutionary Movement - another, less powerful, insurgent group.

                   Peru's war against leftist rebels has left 30,000 dead since 1980. Ramirez
                   Durand was considered the last top rebel leader still at large before he was
                   captured in July.

                   He is serving a life sentence at a naval base in Lima -- where the group's
                   founder, Abimael Guzman, also is imprisoned.

                    Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.