A shootout that occurred between police and bank robbers led to the deaths of fourteen people, six of whom were hostages. The robbers were attempting to blow up ATMs at two banks in a small town in northeastern Brazil, authorities said.
The police force opened fire on the robbers at the bank branches on the main street in the interior of Ceará state, a statement by the governor’s office said.
While two died alleged gang members died in hospital because of gunshot wounds, five of them were killed on the spot in the shootout shortly after 2 a.m. and the eighth man was gunned down in a police pursuit, it said.
Six hostages were taken in a trailer truck on a local highway that the gang blocked and during the shootout, all hostages in the truck died too. So far three suspects have been arrested by police.
Local media have reported that five of the dead hostages were from the same family, including two children aged 14 and 13.
The attempted robbery was interrupted by a police unit that had been tracking a gang responsible for similar bank robberies in the area.