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2 JAPANESE STUDENTS SLAIN IN JUNGLE

Two Japanese students exploring Peru's Amazon River on a balsa wood raft were robbed and hacked to death in a remote jungle region, a newspaper reported Friday.

Chiaki Ito, 22, and Takahiro Miyashita, 23, members of the explorers' club at Tokyo's Waseda University left the jungle city of Pucallpa in early November en route to Manaus, Brazil. Fellow students said they became worried after the two failed to call in earlier this month as expected.

The El Comercio newspaper reported that police have taken five people into custody for questioning in Pebas, an Amazon River town 700 miles northeast of Lima.

Police reportedly found the students' camera, sleeping bags and part of the money they were carrying in the possession of one of the five people, who are related to each other.

It was unclear when the students were killed. Police refused to comment on the case Friday.

The newspaper, citing police sources, said one suspect has confessed and implicated a soldier and an officer from a local army base in the crime.

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