LIMA (AFP) - Leftist rebels in Peru have staged one of their deadliest attacks in years, killing 13 soldiers in an ambush of a military patrol in the countrys remote southeast. Defence Minister Antero Flores Araoz said Saturday the attackers from the Shining Path rebel group used dynamite and grenades, and their victims included a captain, a junior officer and 11 soldiers. Flores Araoz told reporters at a press conference that the remote southeastern jungle area and communications problems accounted for the delay in announcing the attack, which had occurred on Thursday. The assault, one of the deadliest by the once-formidable Maoist guerrilla group in the past decade, also left one person missing and two more wounded. Most of the soldiers plunged over a cliff, the minister said, but the circumstances of the deaths and the fall off the mountainside were not immediately clear. The ambush came only hours after one soldier was killed and four were wounded in another Shining Path attack on a military patrol in the same area of Ayacucho department, 550 kilometres southeast of the capital Lima. The defence minister said an army unit and a helicopter have been dispatched from Huanta city to help the survivors of the ambush and hunt down the rebel attackers. Once Perus most powerful rebel group, the Shining Path were defeated and scattered after a government crackdown under then-president Alberto Fujimori. The latest ambush came barely 48 hours after Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in crimes committed by an army death squad during his 1990-2000 rule. He is accused of conducting a dirty war to fight the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru rebels. Shining Path remnants have lately grown bolder in their attacks and have made the coca growing region along the Apurimac Ene river their stronghold, allying themselves with local drug traffickers. Well win this war, Flores Araoz told reporters. This attack in no way weakens the moral fiber of the armed forces. Sociologist Jaime Antezana said there have been 11 rebel attacks on military patrols in the past 11 months, adding that the military fare the worst. Authorities accuse the Shining Path of involvement in Perus drug trade, and of using the profits to fund its cause.