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Police officer shot dead in Brazil’s largest slum

Saturday, September 15, 2012    

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — A police officer was slain while on foot patrol in Brazil's largest slum, military police said yesterday.

Diego Bruno Barbosa Henriques was shot and killed overnight Thursday as he and three fellow officers patrolled Rio de Janeiro's sprawling Rocinha slum.

An operation was under way to apprehend Henriques' assailants, and G1, the internet portal of the Globo television network, reported one suspect had been detained. The suspect was carrying a 9-millimetre pistol, the same weapon used against Henriques, the report said.

The body of Henriques, who had been on the force for about a year, was buried later yesterday.

Police and soldiers took over Rocinha in November as part of a large-scale programme to restore the rule of law in Rio slums long under the control of heavily armed drug gangs and largely off-limits to authorities.

The government's reasserted control over the shantytown is seen as strategic as Rio prepares to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Rocinha is on the road that links the main Olympic village with other event sites inside the city proper.

In a Twitter post, Rio state Gov Sergio Cabral called yesterday's slaying "a desperate action" and pledged that "there will be no backsliding" in pacified communities.

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