RIO DE JANEIRO, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll in shootouts between rival drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro has risen to 42 people, local police reported on Sunday.
Gun battles between rival gangs in northern slums of the city erupted a week ago. On the same day, a police helicopter was shot down by suspected drug traffickers, killing three of the six officers on board.
The armed clashes between rival criminal groups started just days after Rio was awarded the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
Following bloody shootouts, Brazilian authorities have pledged to crack down on criminals to ensure safety for the Olympics while police have responded by deploying thousands of officers in the area.