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Brazil: Three drug traffickers killed during day-long gunfights

There has been an alarming surge in robberies, assaults and homicides in Rio as local gangs bid to recapture areas the police had seized during the economic boom in the country. Photograph: (Getty)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Oct 11, 2016, 02.00 AM (IST)

Three people believed to be drug traffickers died in two separate gunfights with the Brazilian police just a few kilometres from tourist spots such as Copacabana and Ipanema.

"Two criminals were wounded in a morning clash and died at the hospital. A third fell off a cliff and died," military police said in a statement to AFP.

The shootouts took place in the Cantagalo and Pavao-Pavaozinho favelas.

The suspect who fell off the cliff during the armed standoff with police was carrying eight kilograms of cocaine in his backpack.

The incident began when suspects attacked several police bases in Pavao-Pavaozinho.

One of the commanders of a police squad in the neighbourhood was injured, Reuters reported. 

The shootouts demonstrate falling security in Brazil's capital, barely weeks after the conclusion of Olympics 2016. 

There has been an alarming surge in robberies, assaults and homicides in Rio as local gangs bid to recapture areas the police had seized during the economic boom in the country. But recent political scandals and economic depression have plunged the country into chaos and violence.  

(WION with inputs from agencies) 

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