Friday, May 24, 2024

At least nine killed in latest Rio de Janeiro police raid

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Brazilian authorities have said that at least nine people were killed during a police raid in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the latest case of violence stemming from law enforcement activity in the city’s poor favela neighbourhoods.

Police said that Wednesday’s operation was focused on targeting criminal gangs in the Complexo da Penha, a network of favelas in the north of the city.

“A clash occurred when police teams came under attack by gunmen at the scene,” the police said in a statement. The operation was launched after police received information about a meeting of high-level gang leaders.

Eleven suspects were wounded in the attack, and nine died of their injuries. One officer was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

The raid brings the number slain in similar operations over the last six days to 42. Brazil’s police forces have said they are locked in a deadly battle with powerful criminal groups, but criminal justice groups have accused them of corruption and human rights abuses.

Police raids are a persistent source of controversy in Brazil, where pro-law enforcement politicians defend the operations as a necessary part of the fight against criminal groups. Critics, meanwhile, allege that police kill indiscriminately in poor neighbourhoods, collaborate with paramilitary groups, and take part in criminal activity themselves.

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