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At least 25 people are killed during gun battle between police and a drug gang in Rio de Janeiro

As many as 25 people, including a cop who was shot in the head, have been reported dead after the police and a gang investigated for drug trafficking were involved in a broad daylight shooting in a Rio de Janeiro favela on Thursday.

The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro were in the midst of an operation against members of a drug trafficking ring when they were met with fire in the slum of Jacarezinho.

The fallen officer was identified as André Frias, 45, according to Brazilian newspaper  Correio Braziliense. Frias was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Office.

Authorities said two cops were injured in the gun battle. 

Correio Braziliense reported that at least two suspects were killed in the shootout.

A man is pushed on a wheelchair after he was shot in the right arm during a shootout between the police and a drug trafficking gang in Rio de Janeiro's slum of Jacarezinho on Thursday. At least 25 people have been reported dead, including a 45-year-old police officer

Police get out of an armored vehicle during an operation against alleged drug traffickers in Jacarezinho, a favela of Rio de Janeiro, on Thursday

Rafael M. Silva, 33 and Humberto Gomes V. Duarte, 20, were riding inside a Line 2 train wagon when they were shot while the train was stopped at a neighborhood subway station. 

Silva was taken Salgado Filho Hospital, but abandoned the facility for unknown reasons. Gomes V. Duarte was rushed to Hospital da Marinha and was listed in stable condition. 

A resident caught in the crossfire was struck in the foot while sitting inside their home. 

It’s the highest amount of casualties reported during a police investigation since online portal Fogo Cruzado started tracking armed conflicts in July 2016.

The police was investigating 21 gang members for allegedly recruiting children to commit crimes on its behalf. The minors were tasked with robbing passengers on train cars and platforms, as well as peddling drugs in the streets. 

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