Rio de Janeiro police raid on favela leaves at least 25 dead

Rio de Janeiro police raid on favela leaves at least 25 deadMay 6, 2021

  • Raid in violation of court order is one of city’s deadliest ever
  • Police hail blow against drug gangs but critics decry ‘massacre’

At least 25 people have been killed after heavily armed police stormed one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas in pursuit of drug traffickers, in what activists called one of the deadliest raids in the city’s history.

About 200 members of Rio’s civil police launched their incursion into Jacarezinho in the early hours of Thursday, sprinting into the vast redbrick community as a bullet-proof helicopter circled overhead with snipers poised on each side. By lunchtime at least 25 people were reported dead, among them André Frias, a drug squad officer who was shot in the head. Police and local media described the other victims as “suspects” but offered no immediate evidence for that claim.

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