Twelve killed in foiled Brazil bank assaults

In Brazil, twelve people, including five hostages, were killed in the northeast town on Milagres yesterday as the police foiled an assault on two banks by a gang of armed robbers.

Local mayor, Lielson Landim said, the five dead hostages, including two children, were members of the same family. They had been returning from a nearby airport when some of the robbers seized them.

The identity of the 6th victim was not immediately clear. The gang had launched simultaneous assaults on two banks on the same street in Milagres at around 2:00 am local time.

The secretary for security in the state of Ceara, Andre Costa, said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out to identify those killed and the circumstances of their deaths.

According to Costa’s office, six gangsters were killed and two were arrested. Various weapons and explosives, as well as three vehicles used in the bank assaults, were recovered.

Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world, with a homicide rate of 30.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The figure is three times higher than the level the United Nations considers to be endemic violence.

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