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Brazilian Police,Troops Surround, Search Gang Turf


A policeman frisks a man during an operation against drug traffickers at the Complexo de Alemao slum in Rio de Janeiro,26 Nov 2010

A policeman frisks a man during an operation against drug traffickers at the Complexo de Alemao slum in Rio de Janeiro,26 Nov 2010

Eight hundred soldiers were deployed Friday to help secure the perimeter of Rio's Vila Cruzeiro slum, one day after law enforcement personnel, backed by armored vehicles, took control of the area. Both outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and president-elect Dilma Rousseff have voiced support for the security sweep.

Rio has been hit by a surge of violence since Sunday, with attacks on police stations and the burning of vehicles. Police say the unrest was ordered by imprisoned drug gang members.

Brazil is trying to seize control of Rio's slums, known as favelas, from drug gangs as it prepares to stage the 2014 World Cup football (soccer) tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

As part of the crackdown, about 192 people have been arrested in raids on Rio slums.

The city of 6 million people has high crime and murder rates. Heavily armed drug trafficking gangs control many of Rio's poor areas, making the city among the most violent in Latin America.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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