Brazil politician throws grenades at police in Rio de Janeiro state

Local residents take pictures of a damaged police car in Levy Gasparian, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Photo: 23 October 2022

A Brazilian politician is in custody after throwing grenades at police officers who came to his house in Rio de Janeiro state to arrest him.

Roberto Jefferson, an ally of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, wounded two officers before surrendering on Sunday.

A Supreme Court judge earlier ordered his detention for insulting Chief Justice Carmen Lucia. He was already under house arrest for threatening her.

Mr Bolsonaro reacted by saying those who fired at police should be arrested.

The two officers were wounded by shrapnel from a grenade during the attack in Levy Gasparian, north of the state capital Rio de Janeiro. They were taken to hospital and later discharged.

Mr Jefferson, the 69-year-old former leader of the PTB political party, also fired a number of shots from a rifle, shattering the windshield of a police car.

Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes had ordered the politician to be detained on the grounds that he violated the conditions of house arrest.

Political tensions are high in Brazil ahead of Sunday’s presidential election run-off between Mr Bolsonaro and left-winger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Mr Lula, who is still seen as the front-runner fell short of the 50% of valid votes needed to prevent a run-off in the first round earlier this month.

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