RIO DE JANEIRO May 2 Suspected drug gang
members burned at least seven commuter buses and a tractor
trailer on major highways in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday,
apparently in response to police raids in slums controlled by
The suspects ordered all the people off the bus and truck
before torching them and no one was injured, authorities said.
Burning buses is a common form of protest and intimidation
carried out by gangs in Brazil.
Police said that rival gangs engaged in firefights early
Tuesday and officers responded.
By mid-afternoon, at least 40 suspects were detained and
more than 30 guns confiscated in the Cidade Alta slum.
At least three police suffered light injuries. There was no
immediate word on injuries among suspects or bystanders in the
shantytown amid the fighting between gangs and police.
Violence has increased in Rio since the 2016 Olympics. Rio's
debt-laden state government does not have the funds to maintain
what many security experts considered a successful police
program to push gangs out of slums and setting up permanent
posts to keep them out.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Brad Brooks;
editing by Grant McCool)