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Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori will face a run off in Peruvian presidential elections, exit polls showed after a vote Sunday.

Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former leader Alberto Fujimori, had secured between 37.8 per cent and 39.9 per cent of the vote, according to three leading exit polls.

It remains unclear which opponent Fujimori will face in a run off with right-wing finance expert Pedro Pablo Kuczynski securing between 19.7 per cent and 20.9 per cent and left-wing candidate Veronika Mendoza taking between 18.8 per cent and 20.3 per cent.

Although poised to place first among the election's 10 presidential candidates, Fujimori looked unable to capture the absolute majority of votes needed to avoid a runoff election, set for June 5.

The vote was overshadowed by a deadly attack by suspected leftist rebels on a military patrol on Saturday at a rural polling site in the east of the South American country.

At least seven people died in the attack, including six soldiers and a civilian driver, a military the government said.

Fujimori leads the conservative Fuerza Popular (Popular Force) party, which political observers anticipate will also win a majority of all 130 seats up for grabs in parliament.

She lost her first bid to become president in 2011 to the current outgoing office holder, left-wing former army commander Ollanta Humala.

During election campaigning, Fujimori has distanced herself from her father's decade-long presidency-turned-dictatorship, signing a pledge in front of cameras promising to uphold human rights and democratic institutions.

Alberto Fujimori stepped down in 2000 amid widening corruption scandals, mass protests and human rights abuses. He fled to Japan, from where he faxed in his resignation.

His tenure included a coup he declared while in office in 1992 that shut down the legislature and abrogated the constitution.

After he left office, he was found guilty at trial of ordering death squads while attempting to put down the leftist Shining Path rebel insurgency. He is serving a 25-year prison sentence.

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