17 arrested during violent bus fare protests in Brazil

A police officer fires tear gas toward protesters during a march against bus fare hikes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2016. (Felipe Dana, AP)
A police officer fires tear gas toward protesters during a march against bus fare hikes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jan. 8, 2016. (Felipe Dana, AP)

Sao Paulo — Brazilian authorities say 17 people have been arrested during a violent demonstration in the country's biggest city to protest an 8c increase in bus and subway fares.

The state Public Safety Department said on Friday night that some people among an estimated 3 000 protesters in Sao Paulo threw rocks and pieces of wood, injuring three police officers. Protesters also smashed store and bank windows and set at least three buses on fire.

Police used tear gas, stun grenades and pepper spray to disperse the crowds.

The protest began peacefully but quickly turned violent when some masked demonstrators started throwing rocks at police.

Similar but less violent protests against increased bus fares were also seen in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

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