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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 11:41 GMT
Eight killed in Rio slum gunfight
Brazilian soldiers patrolling a shanty town in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Brazilian army occupied Rio slums two weeks ago
Eight people have been killed in Brazil during a gunfight between suspected drugs traffickers and policemen in a Rio de Janeiro shanty town.

The shooting started during a fight between rival gangs for control of the northern Imbarie slum, officials said.

It occurred after the Brazilian army ended a massive deployment in the city.

Rio de Janeiro - one of the world's most violent cities - has seen frequent clashes between security forces and members of heavily armed drug gangs.

The latest shootout erupted when a gang from the Santa Lucia shanty town tried to invade the nearby Imbarie slum.

Police officers - who arrived responding to a call from frightened residents - were caught in cross-fire.

The fatal victims were all inhabitants of the Imbarie shanty town - one resident was also reported injured.

Tactics

The army occupied slums in Rio two weeks ago in an operation that lasted nine days and involved 1,500 troops equipped with helicopters and armoured vehicles.

The move was aimed at recovering weapons stolen from a military base. It led to daily shootouts with drug gangs and left several people injured.

Human rights groups have criticised military tactics used in Rio de Janeiro.

They say security forces should switch tactics towards community policing to try to reduce the high levels of violence in the city.


SEE ALSO:
Brazil army ends Rio occupation
14 Mar 06 |  Americas
Amnesty condemns Brazilian police
02 Dec 05 |  Americas
Rio slums blighted by gun crime
21 Oct 05 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
18 Feb 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Brazil
05 Nov 05 |  Country profiles


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