12 killed in bank robbery attempt in Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Dec 8 (AFP) | Publish Date: 12/8/2018 11:35:54 AM IST

Twelve people, including six hostages, were killed in northeast Brazil on Friday after police foiled a gang of armed robbers staging simultaneous predawn assaults on two banks in the town of Milagres, officials said.

Five of the dead hostages were members of the same family and included two children, the local mayor, Lielson Landim, told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

They had been returning from a nearby airport when some of the robbers seized them. Landim had earlier said that, based on initial information, he understood that “the criminals killed the hostages and the police killed the criminals.”

Two suspects were arrested, according to secretary for security in the state of Ceara, Andre Costa. “A heavily armed group arrived in the town in the early hours and went to the center where they tried to commit the crime. There was an exchange of fire between the suspects and police,” it said. It said six gang members were killed and “another six people died from gunshots.” Various weapons and explosives as well as three vehicles used in the bank assaults were recovered. The gang had launched simultaneous assaults on two banks on the same street in Milagres population 28,000 shortly after 2.00 am.

According to the G1 news website, the robbers had blocked a street with a truck and stopped the car carrying the family, which included relatives who had just arrived on a flight from Sao Paulo to celebrate Christmas with them.

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