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Brazil’s National Police Force deployed to quell violence

January 5, 2019
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Vehicles burn in the street after attacks in the city of Fortaleza, northeastern Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Brazil's newly inaugurated government has ordered military police sent to Ceara state following a wave of attacks on banks, public buildings and infrastructure over the past two days, which have hit 15 cities, including the capital. (AP Photo/Alex Gomes/O Povo)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Members of Brazil’s elite National Police Force are being deployed in the northeastern state of Ceara to help end a wave of violence that over the past four days has seen banks, police stations, buses and public buildings shot at and torched.

The state’s public security department said Saturday that close to 300 members of the force arrived Friday night in the capital of Fortaleza and more than 10 other cities across the state.

Authorities believe the attacks were ordered by organized crime groups in retaliation for plans to impose tighter controls in the state’s prisons. Brazil’s prison gangs are powerful and their reach extends outside the country’s penitentiaries.

Media reports said no one was killed in the wave of violence. Calls to the police department for confirmation went unanswered

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