RIO DE JANEIRO - Gunbattles between police and gang members in Rio de Janeiro's slums left at least 19 people dead Wednesday, officials in the seaside city said.
Violence broke out when more than 1,000 police officers converged on Alemao, a known drug haven slum, O Globo TV reported Wednesday.
Rio authorities have been cracking down on gangs and drug-related violence in recent weeks hoping to make the city safer for the upcoming Panamerican games in July.
However, the subsequent violence has caused some to voice concerns the crackdown is in fact increasing the chances that local gangs will try to disrupt the games starting July 13.
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