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Originally published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

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Cop killings, burned buses have Sao Paulo on alert

Brazilian police say suspected gang members have torched five commuter buses in Sao Paulo.

The Associated Press

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SAO PAULO —

Brazilian police say suspected gang members have torched five commuter buses in Sao Paulo.

The bus burnings are part of a wave of violence that has also seen at least six police officers slain over two weeks.

Police blame the violence on members of the powerful First Capital Command gang, or PCC. The gang controls many slums in South America's largest city.

Police that over the past day, gang members have stopped the buses in poor neighborhoods, ordered all the passengers off, then burned them in an act of protest against crackdowns on the drug trade.

In 2006, the PCC unleashed city-wide attacks that killed 200 people in a month.

Police say they have suspects in the police killings and are working to contain the violence.

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