Eleven shot dead in police raid to capture leaders of Rio’s largest drugs gang

Eleven people have been shot dead in a raid to capture the leaders of the biggest drug-trafficking organisation in Rio de Janeiro, police have said.A woman reacts outside the Getulio Vargas Hospital after the deadly raidA woman reacts outside the Getulio Vargas Hospital after the deadly raid

The operation targeting crime gang Comando Vermelho took place in a slum on the north side of the Brazilian city.

Heavy shooting began around 4am on Tuesday in a wooded area next to Vila Cruzeiro, according to residents who posted on social media.

Of those who died, 10 were suspected gang members who opened fire at police with automatic weapons.

The other was a 41-year-old woman named Gabriele Cunha, who was hit by a stray bullet during the shoot-out.

Colonel Ivan Blaz said: “It was a very intense confrontation.”

He said Ms Cunha could have been hit by a shot fired from inside Vila Cruzeiro.

Police seized pistols, rifles, cars, and motorbikes used by the criminal gang, he added.

Last year, 28 people lost their lives in violence in Rio’s slums, particularly during exchanges between police and drug traffickers.

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