Death toll in Rio's police operations hits 38

12:50, November 27, 2010      

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The number of deaths in Rio's police operations against drug gangs reached 38, local police said on Friday.

At least 200 people were arrested this week and dozens of weapons, including rifles and grenades, were seized by the police. Officers also seized flammables, which were going to be used to set fire on vehicles, and some two tons of marijuana.

The police operations were aimed to catch the drug dealers who started a crime spree on Sunday.

According to the police, since Sunday criminals set fire on at least 100 vehicles and gunned down several police cabins, causing panic in Rio's metro area.

The criminals' actions are an act of revenge over a recent loss of territory and power, the police said. In the past year, Rio's police occupied several shantytowns, damaging the drug industry in various neighborhoods and forcing the criminals out of their areas of influence.

On Thursday, the police managed a major victory against the drug gangs by taking over the Vila Cruzeiro slum, which was previously considered

untouchable, in a huge operation supported by the Navy.

On Friday, with the help of 800 Army soldiers, the police started another operation to take over neighboring Morro do Alemao.

Source: Xinhua


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