Rio police invade slums after wave of violence

Brazilian authorities have raided a Rio de Janeiro slum in an ongoing effort to apprehend drug gang members blamed for days of widespread violence that has left about 30 people dead.

Officials say security forces backed by armored vehicles entered the Vila Cruzeiro slum Thursday, despite efforts by the gangs to block access to the area with burning vehicles.

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.

So far, more than 150 people have been arrested in raids on Rio slums.

The city of six million 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.

Rio is among the Brazilian cities that will host the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament. Rio is also the site of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

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