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Brazil: Rio: At least 20 dead in police operation in slums

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The police exchanged gunfire in an attempted arrest in Rio de Janeiro. It is said that even simple residents of a slum were fatally hit.

At least 20 people died in a police operation in a slum in the Brazilian metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. This was reported by Brazilian media such as the newspaper “Folha de S. Paulo” on Tuesday.

According to the police, to which the news portal “G1” referred, ten of the dead were criminals. Accordingly, a resident of Vila Cruzeiro was accidentally hit by a bullet. At least two other people were injured and taken to hospital.

According to eyewitnesses, there had been violent exchanges of fire in the slums in northern Rio. According to the report, the police wanted to arrest the heads of the crime syndicate Comando Vermelho (Red Commando), who are said to have been hiding there. Nine rifles and four pistols and a hand grenade were secured.

About a year ago, police officers killed at least 28 suspected drug gang members in a raid in Rio. Powerful gangs fight for control of drug trafficking and protection money deals in the slums.

Police blamed the Supreme Court for bringing more criminals to Rio. “We have noticed this movement from the time of the STF’s decision [to limit police operations in favelas during the Corona pandemic],” the “Folha de S. Paulo” quoted Coronel Luiz Henrique Marinho as saying. In no other country in the world do so many people die in police operations as in Brazil.