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Tensions rise in Rio de Janeiro slum after shooting death of elderly woman, car burnings


A charred car with Rio de Janeiro plates sits parked on the side of the street after protesters set several vehicles on fire to protest the death of an elderly woman who died yesterday during a police operation against suspected drug traffickers in the Complexo do Alemao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, April 28, 2014. The woman who died is Arlinda Bezerra das Chagas, age 72. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) (The Associated Press)

Tensions are rising in a Rio de Janeiro slum following the death of an elderly woman hit by a stray bullet during a gunbattle between police and alleged gang members.

Three cars were burned Monday in the Alemao complex of slums near a police outpost. Officers are investigating to see if it is related to the death of the woman Sunday.

It's the latest unrest to hit Rio's slums just weeks before the country hosts the World Cup.

Tensions have been rising in recent months amid an ambitious security push that sees officers invade slums long held by drug gangs then create permanent police posts. Slum residents accuse police of heavy-handed tactics in trying to obtain information about gangs, and accuse officers of many abuses.