NEW: Peruvian president: "The Shining Path is no longer a threat to the country"
Jose Eleuterio Flores Hala is seriously wounded, state media reports
Peru's defense minister says the rebel leader nearly lost his arm in a gun battle
Flores, known as Artemio, is one of the rebel group's top leaders
Peruvian troops have captured a leader of the Shining Path guerrilla group, state media reported Sunday.
Jose Eleuterio Flores Hala, known as Artemio, was seriously wounded in clashes with security forces, Peru’s Andina news agency reported.
Defense Minister Alberto Otarola said the rebel leader had nearly lost his right arm due to bullet wounds sustained during the fighting, Andina reported.
“The Shining Path is no longer a threat to the country. These are armed remnants with a limited capacity to cause harm. … Today this leader and all of the main leaders have been captured,” Peruvian President Ollanta Humala told TVPeru.
At its peak, the Shining Path spread terror in the South American country through a bombing campaign that targeted buildings and infrastructure such as electricity towers.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the government fought a campaign that greatly reduced the capacity of the terrorist group.
Last year Artemio told reporters from the nonprofit Legal Defense Institute that the Shining Path had been defeated.
The rebel leader said the group wanted to negotiate a deal with the government that would result in members laying down their arms in exchange for the release of prisoners.
CNN’s Claudia Dominguez and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.