At least eight people were killed in shootouts Friday night at different points around Sao Paulo in the latest episode in the wave of violence that has shaken Brazil’s largest city since early October, officials said Saturday.
In the deadliest incident, five young people were shot and killed by an unidentified group of armed men Friday night in Sao Paulo’s southern district of Cidade Ademar, a spokesperson with Sao Paulo state’s Public Safety Secretariat told Efe.
In another shooting, a pedestrian was killed Friday night by two individuals on a motorcycle in the city’s northern district of Vila Constanca.
According to the secretariat, one other person was killed in a shooting in the east-side district of Penha.
Brazilian media, meanwhile, reported that a suspected criminal was shot dead in a clash with security forces in the Sao Paulo suburb of Embu das Artes.
Meanwhile, eight buses were set on fire in the Campinas metropolitan area, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Sao Paulo.
Police in Sao Paulo say more than 250 homicides have been committed in the metropolis since the start of October, with most of violence directed at citizens but also including a number of off-duty policemen.
Though authorities have offered no detailed explanation of who originated these attacks and for what reasons, federal officials suggest the recent spate of attacks on law enforcement in metropolitan Sao Paulo has been orchestrated by jailed bosses of the First Capital Command, or PCC, the region’s dominant criminal organization.
Elsewhere, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, armed men opened fire on a base and two mobile units of the militarized police without taking any victims and torched a bus.
Some 47 suspects have been arrested in that state since the violence erupted on Monday.