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Fourteen killed in Brazil nightclub shootout

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | AFP | At least 14 people were killed in an early Saturday shootout at a nightclub in Fortaleza, in northeastern Brazil, officials said.

“We can confirm 14 deaths,” Andre Costa, security secretary for the state of Ceara — of which Fortaleza is the capital — told a press conference.

Costa said that other victims were hospitalized in serious condition, but did not give a number.

A spokesperson from the Institut Jose Frota hospital told AFP that six people, including a 12-year-old boy, had been rushed in for emergency care.

The shooting broke out at 1:30 am when a group of armed men arrived in three vehicles at the Forro do Gago nightclub in Fortaleza’s Cajazeiras neighborhood.

“It’s a brutal scene, a massacre. Something you never see in Ceara,” a police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told news website G1.

Local media reported that the shootout was a clash between members of two rival drug trafficking gangs.

Officials however remained tight lipped. “The investigation is still ongoing,” Costa said.

On January 7, a war between drug gangs already claimed four lives in the suburbs of Fortaleza.

Last year there was a record 5,114 murders in the state of Ceara, a 50 percent rise from 2016.

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