Bloodbath in Brazil as 28 killed during shootout

The death toll from a police ambush on a drug gang in a poor neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro rose to 28

Brazil: The death toll from a police ambush on a drug gang in a poor neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro rose to 28 on Thursday, civilian police said Friday, the deadliest operation ever carried out by security forces in the Brazilian city.

According to police, the bodies of three more victims removed from the favela are men linked to organized crime. Twenty-four other people and a police officer were also killed in the operation in northern Rio, Jacarezinho.

“Intelligence confirmed the dead were drug dealers. They shot at officers to kill. They were ordered to confront,” Civil Police Chief Allan Turnowski told reporters.

The massacre has led to criticism from human rights groups, including Amnesty International, who have pleaded with police for the “reprehensible and unjustifiable” loss of life in a neighbourhood populated primarily by black and poor people.

The United Nations Human Rights statury on Friday called for an independent inquiry into the operation. UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said police had used an “excessive and unnecessary” use of force.