Death toll in police operations in Rio reaches 14

17:50, November 25, 2010      

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A policeman runs during an operation at Jacarezinho slum in Rio de Janeiro November 24, 2010. Authorities in Rio de Janeiro struggled to control a fourth day of violence apparently orchestrated by drug gang members who have attacked police stations and burned cars in the Brazilian city. The wave of violence began on Sunday with attacks on police stations and vehicles. Suspected drug gang members ordered people out of their cars on expressways and then set fire to the vehicles. (Xinhua/Reuters)

Death toll in police operations carried out on Wednesday in Rio's shantytowns rose to 14, local police said.

The operations were aimed at cracking down a crime spree that started in the weekend. Since Sunday, 22 people had been killed in several shootings in the city.

According to the police, from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, 15 attacks occurred in the city, while seven buses and 13 cars were burned. Also a truck and a van were destroyed.

A total of 25 people were arrested on Wednesday and 153 since Sunday. Weapons, including rifles, grenades, and machine guns, were seized. The police special operations squad also seized a ton of marijuana in the Chatuba shantytown.

According to the police, the crime spree is a reaction of drug gangs to the establishment of permanent police units in several shantytowns in the city.

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