At least 23 killed in Rio de Janeiro favela gun battle

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RIO DE JANEIRO, May 7: At least 23 people were killed and four others injured following an intense shootout between police and suspected drug traffickers in a favela in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, local police said.
  
According to reports from the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police, one police officer died as a result of the shootout, while the other 22 people killed were allegedly members of a criminal organization that dominates the Jacarezinho favela.
   
The shootout between police and alleged drug traffickers occurred in the early hours of Thursday in the favela, as part of a Civil Police operation against drug trafficking and organized crime in the area.
   
Audio and videos circulating on social media networks show the intense shootout and detonation of gas bombs in several parts of the favela, while images taken from helicopters show armed people fleeing through the roofs of houses and terraces.
   
The Jacarezinho favela is home to the so-called Red Command, the largest criminal faction in Rio de Janeiro.
   
Unlike many of the city's populous slums that sit on the hills, Jacarezinho is in a flat area where criminals have set up barricades to make it difficult for security forces to access.
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National News Agency, Nepal

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