At least 18 people died in a police operation in a Brazilian favela

18 Killed During Police Operation in Favela Groups in Rio de Janeiro

Ivan Rodriguez Gelfenstein

Ivan Rodriguez Gelfenstein - Some 400 members of Rio state's elite civilian and military police entered Complexo do Alemão, a large marginal area north of Brazil's postal city, along with several armored vehicles and four helicopters, to confront a gang. vehicles, goods and banks.

The operation killed 16 "suspects" of belonging to criminal organizations, a 50-year-old woman who lived in the area and a 38-year-old uniformed man, a Spokesman for the Civil Police said during the operation.

Police previously reported the deaths of five people and the capture of four others in this slum complex, the usual scene of deadly clashes between security forces and drug traffickers and other organized crime activities.

The family of Letícia Marinho de Sales, the neighbor who died in the operation, accused the police of causing the woman's death by shooting at the car in which she was traveling with her boyfriend, Denilson Glória.

"There was a policeman at a red light, we stopped. However, his car was shot. I just saw her fall next to me. When I looked at her, she had a hole in her chest," he added.

The videos posted by netizens showed a barrage of gunfire from a police helicopter and burning barricades to prevent the passage of uniformed personnel.

Authorities said their units were "violently attacked" with "military and guerrilla" tactics and accused the criminals of using civilians as human shields and receiving support from some residents.

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