Police killed six suspected criminals as they vowed to restore order ahead of a huge New Year's Eve bash on Copacabana Beach, fanning across Rio de Janeiro in a show of force two days after gang-initiated violence left 19 dead.
Saturday's killings came as the suspected gang members apparently attempted to renew their attacks, spraying a police station and a shopping center with gunfire, injuring one bystander.
Authorities deployed nearly 21,000 officers following Thursday's assaults on police stations and arson attacks on buses. They insisted they now have the upper hand and pledged to maintain peace and prevent the gangs from initiating more violence Sunday.
"In less than 24 hours, we've ended the mess they tried to start," police Col. Hudson de Aguiar Miranda told the Agencia Estado news agency.
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