At least nine people were killed by police in a raid targeting members of criminal groups in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, authorities said on Wednesday.
During the operation in the Penha slums complex, police were attacked by armed individuals, they said in a statement. One officer was wounded but is stable in the hospital.
Among the dead are Fiel and Du Leme, leaders of the impoverished Juramento and Chatuba neighborhoods, known locally as favelas, police said. Seven rifles, ammunition and grenades have been seized from the suspects, they said.
“Data from the intelligence sector indicated that a meeting was taking place between leaders of the criminal faction in the region,” police spokesperson Col. Marco Andrade said in a video.
The raid follows another violent episode in Brazil’s southeast, as authorities cracked down on drug traffickers and criminal gangs in two of the country’s most populous states.
In Sao Paulo state, at least 16 people died in clashes between police officers and suspects this week, the state Department of Public Safety said on Wednesday.
The clashes in the coastal cities of Guaruja and Santos started on Friday after a police officer on patrol was shot dead.
Sao Paulo Governor Tarcisio de Freitas said the police was cracking down on widespread organized crime in territories in the region. Local authorities and human right organizations have said they suspected the police used excessive force in the raids.