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Chaos in Brazilian resort threatens Carnival festivities


09:08, February 09, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing unrest in Salvador, triggered by a police strike that already lasted nine days, is now threatening the Brazilian resort's world-renowned Carnival festivities.

Salvador, located in the northeastern state of Bahia, is long known for its tropical allure, beautiful beaches and historic sites. Along with Rio, the city hosts the annual Carnival festivities, which start next week and last several days, during which a total of 500,000 tourists are expected to come.

But for the past nine days after the city's policemen went on strike for better pay and working conditions, Salvador has been plagued by a crime wave that has left 123 murders so far.

Federal troops were called in to beef up security, but an atmosphere of fear and tension reigns in the city. On Tuesday, the troops clashed with the policemen at the state assembly building where the protesters have been camping out since last week. The incident left six people injured.

Besides the murders, robberies have also been reported, and shops had to close due to insecurity. Courts are working in a partial capacity, dealing only with urgent cases. The public school teachers' union recommended the beginning of the school year to be postponed. Several private schools have also postponed the beginning of classes.

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