25 killed in Rio de Janeiro police operation

Twenty-five people were killed in a police operation conducted in a favela, or marginal neighbourhood, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian authorities said.

The operation by the Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police and the Military Police took place in Vila Cruzeiro in an attempt to capture leaders of the city’s largest criminal faction, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Military Police said that officers responded to an attack by alleged criminals in the favela, leaving 15 suspects dead, while a 41-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet and nine other bodies have not been identified yet.

The confrontation also left several wounded, including a teenager and two people who died on Wednesday.

Rifles, pistols and a grenade were seized during the operation, along with a large quantity of drugs, and motorcycles and vehicles used by the alleged criminals.

This is the second deadliest police operation carried out by security forces in Rio de Janeiro, after the one carried out a year ago in the Jacarezinho favela with 28 people dead.

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