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Crimes surge in Salvador as police strike

April 18, 2014 10:34 pm | Updated May 28, 2016 08:38 am IST - SAO PAULO

Authorities in Brazil say a police strike in the Northeastern state of Bahia has led to an upswing in lootings of stores, car robberies and murders.

State Public Safety Department spokesman Erival Guimaraes said on Thursday there were 39 murders in less than two days, most in the capital city of Salvador that will host six of the World Cup matches starting in June.

Bahia’s governor Jaques Wagner says the federal government deployed 5,000 soldiers and elite federal police troops to the nation’s third-largest city. Eighty percent of the total 30,000-police force went on strike, which ended on Thursday.

The latest government figures show Bahia is the Brazilian state with the highest number of murder victims, reporting an average of 15 a day.

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