Peru's National Police rescued 293 women from prostitution in an operation carried out this weekend in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado and several nearby towns, authorities said.

Among the women rescued were 10 minors, one of them a 13-year-old, Deputy Interior Minister Luis Otarola said.

He said the operation was ordered by Interior Minister Oscar Valdes as part of President Ollanta Humala's policy of citizen security and defense of basic rights.

Otarola said the women were forced to engage in sex against their will at more than 50 unlicensed bars in the area.

The police action also liberated five boys who were working as waiters in the bars, and detained four suspected human traffickers.

Last month the Save the Children organization reported that more than 1,100 underage women are being sexually exploited in wildcat mining camps in the southeastern Peruvian region of Madre de Dios.

The region is a hot spot of illegal gold mining and the camps set up along various stretches of the Interoceanic Highway have attracted other activities such as "hooker bars."

Young girls are generally lured from their own communities by women who travel around offering them work in stores or as domestic help, but instead they end up in bars in the Inambari and Huepetuhe districts.

Otarola said that a major police post will be set up in Mazuko, Madre de Dios, to counter the violence and combat wildcat gold mining and the crimes that go with it.