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Extra police after Rio violence

18 October 09 22:08 GMT

Brazilian officials have deployed thousands of extra troops on the streets of Rio de Janeiro a day after violent clashes with gang members.

At least 12 died during the clashes in the city's Morro dos Macacos - or Monkey Hill - slum.

Police said on Sunday that two suspected drug traffickers had also been killed overnight.

Officials also sought to calm fears about security in a city due to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

"Rio de Janeiro has a safety problem. We are fully aware of this problem, it is one of the city's most historic problems," said state public safety director Jose Mariano Beltrame.

"We proved to the Olympic Committee that we have plans and proposals for Rio de Janeiro."

He added that the city's policy is not only about "going into battle, it also consists of keeping the peace".

On Saturday, two Brazilian policemen were killed after their helicopter was shot down above the city.

The helicopter came down and burst into flames after the pilot was hit in the leg by a bullet.

Several buses were also set on fire during the worst outbreak of violence since the city was awarded the Games two weeks ago.

The attack on the helicopter followed an outbreak of fighting between rival drug gangs in a shanty town in the north of the city.

One resident said it was the one of the most intense gun battles he had witnessed in the area in recent years.

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