Brazil gang members killed in 2nd night of violence
SAO PAULO, Brazil, May 14 (Reuters) Brazilian police killed several gang members when they came under attack in a second night of violence linked to prison rebellions, a Sao Paulo state official today said.
In the worst eruption of violence in years in Brazil's wealthiest state, 30 people were killed between Friday night and yesterday morning when criminal gangs made at least 55 separate attacks on police, firemen and prison personnel.
Police say an organized crime gang called the First Command of the Capital ordered the attacks after officials transferred imprisoned gang leaders in an attempt to defuse a multi-prison rebellion allegedly planned for this weekend.
''We know that a few bandits died in the hospital after a shootout with police last night but we are still waiting for reports from the precincts,'' said a spokesman at the state secretariat of security.
A prison official said there had been rebellions at 24 prisons since Friday, with more reported to have started today morning.
''We have ended six of the 24 rebellions that had begun since Friday without deaths or serious injury, but I've heard that there were more riots in new prisons that started earlier this morning,'' said the spokeswoman for the Sao Paulo administration of penitentiaries.
In February 2001, 29 prisons in the state of Sao Paulo simultaneously broke out in revolt, leaving 19 dead.