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In the early hours of Monday, around 20 robbers armed with machine guns, bombs and drones are reported to have raided three banks in the city of Araçatuba, Brazil. The robbers also attacked the local police station and blocked roads into the city by setting cars on fire.
Footage posted by journalist Yuri Macri shows gunmen kidnapping locals and tying them to two of their cars as they made their escape.
The first car has a person tied to its roof and another to its hood, while the second has a person crouching on the hood.
CCTV footage posted by another Twitter user shows multiple cars driving through the city, some with people tied to the hoods, while another person can be seen holding up his hands while standing up through the van’s sunroof.
At least three have been reported dead, including two civilians and one robber.
Two suspects have been arrested, according to Brazilian media.
The mayor of Araçatuba, Dilador Borges, told Brazilian network Band TV: “The police can’t go on the attack, they can’t confront them because there are too many lives on the line.”
He added that he could not confirm whether the robbers had freed the hostages yet but said security forces had retaken control of the city centre.
The mayor also urged people to stay indoors, warning that the robbers had placed explosive devices across the city. He said he had phoned the state governor to ask for reinforcements to be deployed to Araçatuba.
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