Seven killed in shootout with police in Rio de Janeiro favela

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-26 07:55

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Seven suspected drug traffickers died Saturday in the port area of Rio de Janeiro in two clashes with a rival criminal gang and the police, official sources announced.

The events took place in the favela of Caju, close to the port of Rio de Janeiro, when a drug trafficking tried to encroach on territory controlled by a rival group, producing an intense firefight.

Upon being notified, military police officers arrived on the scene, and took on both armed gangs.

The shootouts left seven people killed, while the police arrested 11 people, and seized 14 firearms, 37 charges, 790 rounds of ammunition, four grenades, two radio communicators and a number of bulletproof jackets.

Violence has increased sharply in Rio de Janeiro this year, as the state is close to economic collapse, which has translated to a smaller police presence on the streets.

The state, Brazil's tourism hotspot, has counted more than 4,000 homicides in 2017, including 120 police officers falling in the line of duty.

President Michel Temer has dispatched thousands of extra police and soldiers to the city to bring the violence under control.

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