At least 17 children were injured on Wednesday when drug dealers opened fire on police near a public school in Rio De Janeiro, authorities said.
The children were in a classroom at the Professor Henrique Foreis public school in a shantytown, when the shooting happened, witnesses said.
The drug traffickers opened fire on police officers who had stopped a motorcyclist during an operation to recover stolen vehicles, according to police sources.
Some children began running away in panic though their teachers asked them to lie down on the floor, witnesses said.
The wounded were hurt by stray bullets or by splinters. Eight children had been taken to a hospital for medical treatment or surgery, police said.