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Thread: Rio gangs shoot down police chopper, 2 cops dead

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Rio gangs shoot down police chopper, 2 cops dead

    Rio gangs shoot down police chopper, 2 cops dead - Yahoo! News--
    RIO DE JANEIRO Drug traffickers shot down a police helicopter during a gunbattle between rival gangs Saturday, killing two officers in a burst of violence just two weeks after the city was chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
    Ten suspected drug traffickers were also killed during the fighting in a shantytown, along with two bystanders in the slum, officials said.
    Bullets flying from the Morro dos Macacos ("Monkey Hill" in Portuguese) slum in northern Rio de Janeiro hit the police helicopter pilot in the leg as he hovered above the shootout, causing him to lose control and crash.
    Two officers died, while the pilot and three other policemen escaped after the craft hit and burst into flames. The pilot and a second officer suffered burns and bullet wounds. The other two officers also were burned, one gravely, said Mario Sergio Duarte, head of Rio state's military police.
    Officials did not know whether the gangs targeted the helicopter or whether it was hit by stray bullets, but the event underscored security concerns that have dogged Brazil's second-largest city for decades.
    It was not clear what sort of weapon or weapons hit the helicopter, but Duarte said it was unlikely to have been an anti-aircraft missile. Such weapons have been found in the hideouts of drug traffickers along with other heavy, military-grade arms such as grenade launchers and .50-caliber machine guns.
    Duarte said the pilot was able to make a somewhat controlled, though extremely rough landing, which he said would have been unlikely if the aircraft had been hit by a heavy weapon.
    Police said 10 presumed traffickers were killed during the fighting in the slum, including three suspects found dead inside a vehicle. Officials gave no details on the other seven.
    They said at least eight buses were set on fire in other slums. Television images showed motorists fleeing for cover as automatic-weapons fire crackled in broad daylight amid the worst violence the city has seen in months.
    Images broadcast by Globo TV showed flames shooting from the helicopter wreckage, with little more than charred pieces and an intact tail remaining after the fire was doused.
    Rio police frequently use helicopters to take on gangs that dominate drug trafficking in the city's more than 1,000 slums, but were unable to say whether this was the first time one of their helicopters had been shot down by gang members.
    The crash happened about five miles (eight kilometers) southwest of one of the zones where Rio's 2016 Olympics will be located. The city on Oct. 2 was picked over Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to host the games. Rio alone among the bid cities was highlighted for security concerns ahead of the International Olympic Committee vote.
    The downing of the helicopter happened amid intense firefights involving rival gangs in the slum as one tried to seize a rival's territory, authorities said.
    Police moved into the area before dawn, though gunfire continued throughout the day, keeping terrorized residents inside their homes as bullets slammed into apartment buildings. Duarte said late in the day that the areas were under control.
    Despite increased policing efforts, Rio remains one of the world's most dangerous cities. The violence generally is contained within slum areas, though it sometimes spills into posh beach neighborhoods and periodically shuts down the highway that links the international airport to tourist destinations.
    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other officials have played down the threat of violence for the Olympics, saying Rio has repeatedly demonstrated it can pull off big events without risk to players and spectators.
    Rio held the Pan-American Games in 2007 without major incidents, deploying more than 15,000 specially trained officers to keep the peace.

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    Fun times in the Olympic village!!!

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