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Brazilian Police, Troops Search Rio Drug Gang Haven

Policemen move inside the Complexo do Alemao slum during an operation against drug traffickers at in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 28 Nov 2010

Brazilian soldiers and police have invaded a sprawling slum of Rio de Janeiro in a search for drug traffickers.

More than 2,000 police and military personnel moved into the Alemao slum complex Sunday morning with help from armored trucks and low-flying helicopters.

TV footage showed the security forces exchanging gunfire with drug gang members who have long controlled the area. Reports said troops are conducting house-to-house searches.

Brazil's military carried out a similar raid in the Vila Cruzeiro slum last week. A number of drug gang suspects are believed to have fled that area and hidden themselves in Alemao.

Brazilian authorities say they are trying to pacify Rio before it hosts the finals of the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games of 2016.

Drug gangs have responded to the campaign with a wave of violence, firing on police and setting fire to more than 100 cars and buses during the last week. At least 35 people have died in the

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