Brazil's army withdraws from largest favela after week-long occupation
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian armed forces withdrew on Friday from the Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro, after occupying it for six days to end a series of violent clashes between drug gangs and the police.
Defense Minister Raul Jungmann announced the withdrawal on Thursday of 10,000 troops and 10 armored vehicles from Rocinha, saying the largest favela in the country had been "stabilised" after a series of shootouts had left at least four people dead.
According to Jungmann, the soldiers had fulfilled their mission and no longer needed to remain in the region.
After the army withdrew, the military police set up an advanced base inside Rocinha favela from where it will continue operations against drug trafficking.
Rio de Janeiro Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao had asked the army to intervene after fighting broke out between two rival gangs on September 17.
During the week it took control of Rocinha, the army had arrested 24 people and seized a number of weapons.