Rio shootout kills 3, closes streets in Copacabana, Ipanema

A resident carries his dog during a police operation against criminals at Pavao Pavaozinho slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. A shootout between police and criminals killed at least one gunman, closed shops and blocked streets of fancy areas in Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro. Rio police said in a statement that the shootout happened during a raid to halt drug traffickers and reinforce the presence of security forces in the area. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO - An hours-long shootout between police and suspected criminals in Rio de Janeiro has left three people dead, as well as blocking streets and closing shops in the posh Copacabana and Ipanema districts.

The shootout erupted during a raid on drug traffickers in the Pavao-Pavaozinho slum, which is entrenched between and overlooks the two fancy neighbourhoods, Rio police said in a statement.

Witnesses said the exchange lasted for hours and they heard a bomb go off near a metro station in Ipanema, but police did not confirm the blast. The gunfire caused shopkeepers in Copacabana and Ipanema to shutter their businesses.

Pavao-Pavaozinho residents went to social media to say the number of dead could be higher than the three suspected criminals killed announced by police.

Police said five people were arrested.


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