RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's armed forces besieged the country's largest slum Rocinha on Friday as gang war there escalated over the past week.
Earlier on Friday, the local police blocked a major highway which passes by the slum. In the afternoon, the armed forces launched an operation with the local police to seek out drug gangs.
The contingent is formed by 950 soldiers and police officers who are armed to the teeth and supported by armored vehicles and helicopters. There have been no significant arrests so far.
However, Brazil's Defense Minister Raul Jungmann said on a local TV program that Rocinha is currently "pacified" and the soldiers will stay in the slum for a while.
Rocinha has been at war for a week, with two drug lords fighting for the control of the drug traffic in the community. Shootings are frequent and schools suspended classes for several days.
Residents of the slum and of in the vicinity have been living under a constant threat of violence over the past few days.