Shooting between police and gang members leaves 10 bystanders injured in Rio

A shooting between police and gang members left 10 shantytown residents _ including three children _ injured in Rio de Janeiro, local media said Sunday.

Police stormed the hillside Rocinha shantytown late Saturday night after gang members allegedly attacked officers who were patrolling nearby streets, the O Globo newspaper reported.

Police and gang members opened fire at each other, hitting some of the people who were passing by on the street. Some of the bystanders were injured by shrapnel of the grenades thrown at the police officers, the newspaper said.

It was not immediately clear if the shots that hit the bystanders were fired by the traffickers or by police. None of those injured suffered life-threatening wounds in the confrontation, which happened near a daycare center where a party was being held, O Globo said.

No one was arrested. Earlier Saturday, another shooting between police and gang members in the Dona Marta shantytown stopped traffic for nearly two hours in the city's south side. Five people were arrested and nobody was injured.

Rio is one of the most violent cities in the world with a homicide rate of around 50 per 100,000. Most of the violence is confined to the shantytowns and the city's poor north side.

Rocinha, the city's largest shantytown, and the nearby Vidigal shantytown are perched on the hills overlooking some of the city's richest areas and most famous beaches. A turf war between drug gangs from the two neighborhoods has left at least 29 people dead this year alone, AP reports.


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