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World Cup host Rio hit by wave of violence

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World Cup host Rio hit by wave of violence


Police and suspected drug gangs have clashed yet again in a wave of violence to hit the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

Cars and buses have been torched and at least 21 people have been killed in gun battles over the last four days.

Officials says drug traffickers are fighting back against a police crack down on crime in the city’s slums.

Rio’s favelas or shanty towns have for years been controlled by heavily armed gangs. Over 1,000 police officers have been drafted in as part of the city’s “pacification” programme.

It is aimed at improving security in the run-up to hosting the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics two years later.

The problem is innocent bystanders getting caught in the cross fire, raising anger and grief among the impoverished communities.

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