At least 25 people were killed in a shootout between suspected drug traffickers and police in Brazialian city of Rio de Janeiro the last day. The victims included one police officer, and the others were suspected members of the drug gang. The shootout took place during a police operation in a favela in the Jacarezinho area of the city.
Police launched the operation after receiving reports that drug traffickers were recruiting children for their gang. Police Chief Ronaldo Oliveira told Reuters news agency that Thursday’s raid was “the largest number of deaths in a police operation in Rio”, surpassing 19 at Complexo do Alemão slum in 2007. According to the police, among the dead were leaders of the drug-trafficking gang that dominated life in the slum of Jacarezinho neighborhood. Two passengers on a metro train were hit by bullets but survived. The police added that at least 10 suspects were arrested. Police in the Brazilian city confirmed the death of one of their officers, Inspector Andre Leonardo de Mello Frias. A statement on Facebook said “he honoured the profession he loved and will be missed”.
The police said in addition to drug trafficking, the gang robbed trucks of cargo and held up commuter trains to steal from passengers. Police displayed an arsenal of seized weapons, including six assault rifles, 15 handguns, a machine gun, 14 grenades and a round of artillery ammunition.