Rio policeman shot by drug traffickers

2014-03-15 16:23
General view of the building by Copacabana beach in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. (Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP)

General view of the building by Copacabana beach in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. (Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP)

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Rio de Janeiro - A Brazilian policeman was shot dead in clashes with drug traffickers in a "pacified" shanty town in Rio de Janeiro, hours after security forces occupied another violent favela, authorities said on Friday.

Rio is attempting to clean up its image ahead of the June-July football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, but recent weeks have seen violent crime re-emerge in some economically disadvantaged areas.

Thursday's death of Lieutenant Leidson Acacio Alves Silva, 27, in the Vila Cruzeiro favela, brought to 17 the number of police officers killed in the city since January.

Acacio, who was on patrol in the neighbourhood north of Rio, was shot in the head when he and his men came under fire from as many as 20 assailants, the security secretary said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, police raised Brazil's flag over another crime-ridden shanty town, declaring yet another favela had been "pacified."

Vila Kennedy - named after the former US president - in western Rio, had been the scene of violent clashes between opposing drug trafficking groups living on either side of the Avenida Brasil thoroughfare which bisects the shanty town.

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