LIMA: Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded three others when they ambushed a patrol in an area of the Amazon rainforest Pope Francis is due to visit in January, Peruvian authorities said Monday.
Around 10 gunmen targeted the environmental police patrol late Friday near the city of Puerto Maldonado -- some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) southeast of Lima -- in an area of Peru where illegal mining and logging have proliferated.
A guide with the Peruvian national environmental protection agency accompanying the patrol was also wounded, officials added.
"Police are investigating and will capture those responsible," they said in a statement. The dead police officer was buried Monday.
Pope Francis is scheduled to meet indigenous communities affected by mining and deforestation in the Amazon basin during his upcoming visit to Puerto Maldonado.
Police regularly dismantle illegal logging camps and human trafficking rings in the area, close to the border with Bolivia and Brazil.
Pope Francis will visit Peru January 18-21. Pope John Paul II visited Peru in 1988.