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Brazil police and suspected traffickers clash

April 29, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A gang of suspected drug traffickers ransacked an outpatient clinic in a Rio de Janeiro slum and torched nine passenger buses during a clash with police, authorities said Tuesday.

The clash late Monday took place in the Alemao complex of slums hours after three cars were burned near a police outpost.

In a separate slum to the west of Alemao, assailants set fire to five buses during a demonstration protesting the death of an elderly local resident who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between police and suspected gang members. The woman, Arlinda Bezerra, was buried Tuesday during an emotional funeral.

It’s the latest unrest to hit Rio’s slums in the weeks before the country hosts the World Cup. Rio police had earlier said four buses were torched in the clash, but raised the number to nine hours afterward.

Tensions have been rising in recent months amid an ambitious security push that sees officers enter slums long held by drug gangs then create permanent police posts.

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