Rio de Janeiro, 6 May 2021 (dpa/MIA) – At least 25 people have died in a shoot-out during a police operation against an organized crime gang in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, according to local media.
The victims of the raid include 24 suspects and one police officer, the news portal G1 reported citing law enforcement officials.
The violence took place in a favela in the Brazilian mega city’s Jacarezinho neighbourhood, an area known as one of the bases of the Comando Vermelho (Red Command) criminal group.
Powerful crime syndicates like the Comando Vermelho and a number of smaller gangs vie for control of drug trafficking and protection rackets in the poor neighbourhoods.
Two passengers riding the metro, which passes near the favela, got caught up in the mayhem on Thursday and were shot while inside a train car. They survived, according to the report.
Several other people were reported to have received slight injuries.
Faced with heavy gunfire and explosions, residents were unable to leave their homes and a health clinic was closed.
In July, Brazil‘s Supreme Court had suspended police operations in favelas during the pandemic. These are only allowed in “absolutely exceptional cases,” it ruled.