10 dead in gunbattles during police raid on Rio slum complex

10 dead in gunbattles during police raid on Rio slum complex

RIO DE JANEIRO — Police seeking a gang leader raided a cluster of poor neighbourhoods in northern Rio de Janeiro on Friday, and authorities said 10 people died during gunbattles that they said erupted when criminals attacked officers.

The state’s military police said in a statement that the local drug kingpin sought in the raid was among those killed during the operation, which was led by an elite unit known in Brazil by its Portuguese acronym BOPE.

The man’s identity was not released, but officials said he had escaped prison in 2016 and was considered one of the leading drug traffickers in the Pavao-Pavaozinho and Cantagalo slums, which border Rio’s iconic Copacabana and Ipanema neighbourhoods.

Authorities said officers in the operation were investigating the whereabouts of the gang leader in the Alemao favela complex and trying to confirm intelligence on a house thought to be used as a hideout for weapons when armed criminals opened fire and threw grenades in their direction. The statement said there were “multiple clashes.”

The military police said officers seized eight rifles, 85 grenades and some narcotics.

Five people were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, while five other bodies were later carried by local residents to the entrance of the Alemao group of slums.

The bodies were laid next to one another on the street and drew a small crowd of people, some of whom were not wearing any masks despite the coronavirus pandemic. Family members at the scene cried as they covered the bodies, already wrapped in fabrics, with cardboard boxes to shelter them from the rain.

From January through March, police killed 429 people during operations in Rio de Janeiro state, down 1.6% from the same period a year earlier. Homicides have also gone down, declining 0.9% this year to 1,044 victims.

The Associated Press

Brazil

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Stettler adopts 2020 tax budget

Rates were selected to accommodate the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic

Big Valley youth takes top prize in the 4-H Project Steer Challenge

Proceeds from the sale of the calves goes back to the kids who raised them for the last few months

COVID-19 recovered cases continue to rise in Alberta

69 more recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,048

Thanks to the wonders of a 3-D printer, staff at the Stettler Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks

Looking ahead, re-opening is tentatively slated for June 19th if all goes according to plan

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

If an MP heckles in a virtual House of Commons, does it make a sound?

How much will be enough when it comes to Canada’s COVID-19 supply?

How much will be enough when it comes to Canada’s COVID-19 supply?

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors in early June

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors in early June

Advocates push Ottawa to fix long-term problems with long-term care

Advocates push Ottawa to fix long-term problems with long-term care

COVID-19 shows need for long-term-care reform but solve crisis first, Trudeau says

COVID-19 shows need for long-term-care reform but solve crisis first, Trudeau says

Alberta premier says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Alberta premier says targeted approach needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence

Military has located wreckage of helicopter and remains in Mediterranean

Military has located wreckage of helicopter and remains in Mediterranean

Five things to know about the Meng Wanzhou extradition case

Five things to know about the Meng Wanzhou extradition case

Most Read