Peru helicopter with foreign nationals missing

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A helicopter with foreign nationals on board has gone missing in southern Peru, police officials have said.

The helicopter left the Amazon region of Madre de Dios on Wednesday evening bound for Cusco but there are no records of it having landed.

Twelve passengers - most of them from South Korea - and two Peruvian crew members are believed to be on board.

Mountain rescue services are searching the area for clues to the helicopter's fate.

A police patrol is also heading to the region to see if it can find signs of a possible accident.

"We have been informed about the disappearance of a helicopter in an area of jungle in the Cusco region and we have launched a search operation," a local police officer told Agence France Presse.

The helicopter, run by Heli Cusco, reportedly disappeared in the Hualla Hualla region, AFP reports.

The BBC's Mattia Cabitza, in the Peruvian capital, Lima, says that it is believed that the helicopter went missing in a high mountainous area that is regularly covered in clouds, which would make it difficult to locate.

Thousands of tourists travel to the Cusco region each year to visit Machu Picchu, a 15th Century Incan city on a mountain above the town of Aguas Calientes.

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