Latin America & Caribbean

Vitoria police strike: Brazil city sees rise in murders

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Media captionBrazil sends troops in over police strike

The number of people killed in and around the Brazilian city of Vitoria since the military police there went on strike on Saturday has risen to at least 95, according to figures provided by a police union.

Extra troops have been deployed but residents described the city as lawless and schools and shops remain closed.

On Wednesday, 200 cars were reported stolen, up from an average of 20.

Military police officers are demanding higher salaries and more benefits.

The officers are demanding a pay rise after four years of frozen wages. They argue that their average monthly salary of $830 (£660) is well below the national average.

But the state government says it cannot afford to meet the demands. State Governor Paulo Hartung said the police demands amounted to "blackmail".

Union leader Jorge Leal said residents should not blame the military police for going on strike but the state government for failing to make public security a priority.

Dozens of shops have been looted and many businesses remain closed for fear of violence. Schools and health clinics are also still shut, and bus services are not running.

Head of the state's Public Safety Department Andre Garcia said incidents of violence had fallen since 1,200 federal soldiers had arrived on Monday but he requested more be sent.

Residents said because so many businesses remained closed they were finding it increasingly difficult to get food, fill up their cars with petrol and get cash.

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