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Brazil

Police surround drug traffickers in Rio favela

Reuters / Sergio Moraes

Hundreds of police and armoured vehicles have surrounded the Alemao favela in Rio de Janeiro after drug traffickers failed to heed a sundown deadline issued to the authorities to hand themselves over or face assault.

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Only one trafficker is reported to have handed himself over to the police so far. The operation aims to put a stop to the violence after gangs went on the rampage last week, firing at police and setting vehicles alight. At least 35 people have died since the violence begun.

An AFP correspondent said police forces, supported by a helicopter,  also moved into Favela da Grota amid a heavy exchange of fire.

Authorities say the operation aims to make the city safer ahead of the World Cup in 2014 and Olympic Games in 2016.

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