Brazil beefs up Rio police after gangs rob drivers

November 23, 2010 23:23

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian officials sent 1,200 extra police into the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday to halt an upsurge of roadblocks and mass robberies by gangs that they say are challenging police for control of slums.

The military-run police announced they had ordered the officers off of desk work and into the streets to quell the attacks that have renewed concerns about security for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.Rio has been hit by a spike in violence since Sunday, with at least five mass robberies of motorists on key highways, including the one leading to the international airport.

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