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Death toll in Sao Paulo violence rises to 137

Written by: Staff
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SAO PAULO, Brazil, May 17 (Reuters) Police killed at least 22 more suspected gangsters overnight in Sao Paulo, raising to 137 the number of people who have died in a wave of violence in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo since Friday, officials said.

At least 93 suspected criminals have been killed, he said, along with 44 policemen, prison guards, city guards or civilians.

''A large percentage have not been identified, nobody has claimed the bodies,'' state military police commander Col. lizeu Eclair Teixeira Borges told television today.

He said about 40 bodies of suspected gangsters were unidentified.

The organised crime gang called the First Command of the Capital, or PCC, has attacked police stations and courts and torched buses since Friday, and police have used roadblocks and special forces units to quash the uprising.

The violence was triggered by the transfer of PCC chieftain Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, nicknamed Marcola, and about 750 other prisoners to a remote high-security penitentiary.

Police yesterday said they had quelled the offensive after striking back at the gangsters but said that they would continue to hunt them down.

REUTERS KD VC2345

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