In Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police and gangsters have fought running battles inside one of the city's largest slums.
More than 1,000 police headed towards Alemao, a crime-ridden and densely-populated slum area used as a stronghold by a major drugs gang.
Locals looked on in shock as their neighbourhood turned into a battleground.
As armed gang members set fires and erected barricades in the streets, ordinary people tried to seek shelter wherever they could.
Nevertheless, some were hit, and friends and relatives tried to carry the injured to safety in the midst of the battle.
Others were not so lucky. By Wednesday evening at least 13 people were confirmed dead, with reports suggesting that figure would rise.
Authorities want to clamp down on lawlessness in Rio before the Pan-American Games open on 13 July, when the city will welcome thousands of athletes and tourists.
Away from the limelight, though, ordinary people in Alemao wait until a semblance of order returns to their home.