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Brazil: at least 18 dead during a police operation in a favela in Rio

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Of these 18 people killed, 16 are suspected belong to criminal gangs, another is a 50-year-old favela resident and another is a 38-year-old law enforcement officer, a police spokesman told a conference Press.

The Office of the Defender of Rights and the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association separately told theAFP that they had information of a total of 20 dead, including the policeman and the woman.

Nearly 400 members of the security forces carried out this operation, with several armored vehicles and four aircraft, in a gigantic favela to confront a gang specializing in the robbery of vehicles transporting goods and funds.

Previously, the authorities had reported the deaths of five people in this district, a regular scene of deadly clashes between the security forces and organized crime gangs, particularly in drug trafficking.

Residents complained to local media about the police operation, during which homes were reportedly invaded.

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