Wednesday 28 September 2016

Panic as police battle drug gangs in sprawling Rio slum

Published 21/05/2016 | 05:16

Officers enter an alley during the Rocinha slum battle between police and drug gangs (AP)
Officers enter an alley during the Rocinha slum battle between police and drug gangs (AP)

Police and drug gangs have traded fire in a huge gun battle that raged for hours in Rio de Janeiro's largest slum, terrifying residents.

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The firefight broke out on Friday afternoon in Rocinha, a massive slum wedged into one of the Brazilian city's richest neighbourhoods. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

The elite BOPE police unit said on its Instagram feed that its agents were after a notorious drug trafficker believed to be sheltered in the slum. The man, known as Rogerio 157, was not thought to have been captured.

The firefight dragged on for several hours, alarming both Rocinha residents as well as those living in nearby wealthy neighbourhoods.

Rocinha is among Rio's so-called pacified slums, with a police presence.

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