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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, 23:46 GMT
Brazil party for cop killers raided

By Steve Kingstone
BBC correspondent in Sao Paulo

About 160 people have been arrested in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo after staging a party to celebrate a wave of attacks on the police.

Police in a Rio shantytown
Brazilian police have been targeted by criminals
Officers raided the event in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

They say many of those detained have links with organised crime.

Over the past week, three police officers have been killed in the attacks which have targeted police stations and mobile units.

According to the authorities, this party was billed as "terror night".

The guests had come allegedly to celebrate at a sumptuous mansion with a large swimming pool.

The police raided the event in the early hours of the morning, briefly exchanging gunfire with some of the party goers. No-one was hurt.

Behind bars

It is alleged that the party was staged by an organised crime gang known as the First Command of the Capital.

It is thought to be responsible for the wave of more than 50 attacks on police stations over the past nine days.

Three officers have been killed. Twelve others remain seriously injured.

The gang's senior leaders are already behind bars. It is thought they ordered the attacks to protest at prison conditions.

The detained party-goers are now being questioned by a police unit specialising in organised crime.

Many of those arrested are said to have criminal records.

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