2 killed, 33 hurt in clash in gas-rich Peru jungle town

LIMA, Peru (AP) " Street battles between supporters and foes of a mayor being tried for corruption left at least two people dead and 33 hurt Wednesday in a natural gas-rich town in Peru's Amazon, authorities said.

The clash in the town of Curimana was triggered by the decision by Peru's national electoral council to allow Mayor Loiber Rocha to return to office after five months as a fugitive. Rocha has governed the town for a decade.

Regional police chief Col. Jorge Saravia told reporters that pitched battles took place in front of Rocha's house and that 17 police and 16 civilians were injured when a mob attacked police.

Nurse Renter Mendoza told The Associated Press that the two fatalities had gunshot wounds.

Rocha is accused of spending $600,000 in public funds to buy machinery for road improvement projects that were never executed.

Curimana is a town in Ucayali province that has neither running water nor sewers and where nearly half the pre-school children suffer chronic malnutrition.

It gets $1.4 million annually in royalties from natural gas wells run by U.S.-based Duke Energy Corp.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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