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Weekend violence in Manaus, Brazil, leaves 35 people dead

Investigators are determining whether the killings were a result of gang violence or police officers avenging a colleague who was shot dead outside a bank.

By Fred Lambert
Weekend violence in Manaus, Brazil, leaves 35 people dead
A wave of violence in Manaus, Brazil, resulted in the deaths of 35 people over the weekend of July 17 to July 19, 2015. Police are investigating whether it was the result of gang violence or police officers avenging a downed colleague. Image from Google Maps.

MANAUS, Brazil, July 21 (UPI) -- Police are investigating a surge of violence that resulted in the deaths of 35 people over the weekend in the Brazilian city of Manaus.

Several of the killings occurred simultaneously following the shooting death of a police officer outside a bank, the BBC reports.

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The timing of the deaths, as well as the nature of the shootings, has raised suspicion of coordination and possible police involvement. Officials are trying to determine if the killings were conducted out of revenge for the fallen officer or if they are linked to drug-related gang violence.

The capital of Amazonas state in northwestern Brazil, Manaus reportedly experiences an average of two to three homicides per day.

According to the United Nations, there were 42,416 deaths by firearms in Brazil during 2012, an increase of 387 percent since 1980, when 8,710 were recorded.

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