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Russia Denies Official Killed Robber in Rio

  • VOA News

Brazilan security forces at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 4, 2016.

Brazilan security forces at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 4, 2016.

The Russian embassy in Brazil denies that one of its diplomats shot and killed a would-be robber Thursday near the Olympic Park.

Rio police said the Russian vice consul disarmed the robber and shot him with his own gun, but the Russians denied the report, saying in a statement “there must be a misunderstanding.”

"No representative of the Russian consulate general in Rio de Janeiro was involved in an attempted assault ending with the death of the suspect," the consulate said in a statement.

The embassy said its representatives do not carry guns and denied one of its diplomats was involved in the fight because all consulate officials are “Russian citizens with Russian names,” which contradicts media reports that the diplomatic employee had a Brazilian-sounding name.

Rio police, though, said the Russian vice consul “reacted to an attempted assault.”

"The vice consul got into a physical struggle with the assailant and during the fight the aggressor's weapon fired shots,” police said in a statement. “The assailant died of his wounds on the spot."

According to local media reports, the vice consul is a native of Rio and a jiu-jitsu expert. The diplomat, the reports said, was driving with his wife and daughter when two men on motorcycles surrounded his car when he stopped in traffic.

When one of the robbers reached his gun into the car, a struggle ensued, and the robber was shot dead. His partner fled.

The incident took place in a city where 85,000 security personnel are on duty to protect the Olympic Games.

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