C: Belle Maluf – Unsplash

An estimated 25-30 people have died in a police operation in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

The deaths came about as part of a shoot out in the city’s Jacarezinho district in response to police looking for children being used by local drug traffickers; Jacarezinho being one of the worst areas in Brazil for drugs offences.

In addition to drug trafficking, murders and kidnappings are commonplace in the district.

It is understood that in addition to the people directly involved in the shootout, at least two people on a passing train were injured by stray bullets.

The police officer killed in the shoot out was later named as Inspector Andre Leonardo de Mello Frias.

His commanding officer Police Chief Ronaldo Oliveira later told the Reuters news agency that the raid on Thursday led to “the largest number of deaths in a police operation in Rio”.

Not long after the police operation, local residents of Jacarezinho took to social media to share their experiences.

“We’re trying to sell the house as fast as possible, we can’t continue to live here,” one resident said alongside a photo of his apartment floor covered in blood and a message that two people had died in his home.

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