Police in Brazil killed 25 alleged members of a bank robbery gang in the southeastern Minas Gerais state on Oct. 31.
The Federal Highway Police and the Minas Gerais Military Police (PMMG) raided two farmhouses in the city of Varginha, northwest of Rio de Janeiro, killing 18 at the first farm and seven in the second one.
No security force officer died or was injured in the raids.
Authorities claimed that the gang had been plotting to conduct bank robberies in the coming days.
“This is the largest operation referring to the ‘new cangaço’ in the country,” PMMG Spokesperson Captain Layla Brunela told local newspaper O Tempo.
“New cangaço” refers to a bank robbery gang that uses weapons of war and terror in Minas Gerais.
“Cangaço” is a reference to the outlaws in the early 20th century who were led by a highwayman called Lampião.
Brunela said the killings were “based on legality, and here we only respond to the risk that our military police have suffered.”
Minas Gerais State Security Secretary Rogério Greco described the operation as “a perfect, sensational performance” in an interview with a local radio.
Brunela also said that the police seized major weapons of all types, including explosives and bulletproof vests, during the joint operation.
“With that arsenal being seized and the police officers who exchanged fire in a privileged position remaining unharmed, this is very important news,” PMMG Advisory Head Lieutenant Colonel Flávio Santiago told O Tempo.
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