Stray bullet hits woman in hospital

(File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)
(File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A stray bullet in one of Rio de Janeiro's crime-ravaged suburbs tore into a hospital on Saturday and hit a woman being treated there, police said.

The 61-year-old woman "was struck by a shot on Saturday morning inside a hospital in Niteroi," the police for the state of Rio said in a statement.

The woman's son told G1 news site that she had been a patient in the Santa Martha hospital for 18 days and was undergoing tests ahead of surgery.

The woman was struck in the face. Her condition was stable, she risked losing all or some of her eyesight, relatives were quoted as saying.

G1 ran a photo of what it said was the bullet hole in the frame of the hospital room window.

Parts of the greater Rio de Janeiro urban area are devastated by daily gun violence in which heavily armed police confront ruthless narcotics gangs. Bystanders - often people far from the shooting - are regularly hit by stray bullets.

This week, a report said that Brazil's overall murder rate continues to soar, reaching nearly 60 000 violent deaths in 2017. By far the most deadly areas are in the north of the country.

Overall, more than seven homicides occur every hour across Latin America's biggest nation, according to the report from the respected, non-profit Brazilian Forum for Public Security.

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