Army conducts operation in Rio area where police pushed out

November 30, 2017

Brazilian soldiers walk past a police station destroyed by alleged drug traffickers at the Morro do Barbante slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. Thousands of soldiers and police are occupying the slum community as part of efforts to combat a spike in violence. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Several hundred Brazilian Army troops are conducting an operation in a part of Rio de Janeiro where police were recently ousted by armed men.

Soldiers have set up perimeters and checkpoints in two slums in the Ilha do Governador area. Drivers and pedestrians were being stopped and questioned as they entered or left.

Thursday’s operation comes after police were forced from a post last weekend by armed men. The cement post now how huge holes and graffiti of the gang that controls the area.

A year after hosting the Olympic Games, violence in Rio has spiked. Shootouts between armed drug traffickers and police are nearly a daily occurrence. Thousands of troops have been sent in to help restore order, but so far have had little impact.

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