RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — At least 12 people, including two children, were killed Friday when police engaged in a shootout with bank robbers, according to authorities in northeastern Brazil.
The two attempted heists in the state of Ceara began around 2:30 a.m. in the downtown area of the city of Milagres, police said in a statement.
News portal G1 reported that the robbers blocked off a road into the downtown and took hostages as they began entering two banks on the same street. When police responded, a firefight ensued, leading to several deaths.
Lielson Macedo Landim, the mayor of Milagres, told G1 the hostages were executed by the criminal group and not killed by police fire. Macedo Landim said that two children, between 10 and 13 years old, were among the dead hostages.