SAO PAULO — Assailants torched cars and damaged buildings Sunday in a series of attacks on public property in Brazil’s northeastern state of Ceara, law enforcement officials said.
The state public security department said in a statement that the attackers set fire to 50 impounded vehicles being kept at the infrastructure department of the city of Cascavel. In another attack, two men hurled a gasoline bomb at the public security building in the city of Sobral, about 186 miles (300 kilometers) to the north. Assailants also shot at a courthouse and set fire to a building belonging to the municipal government in the state capital, Fortaleza.
It was unclear whether the incidents were related, but Ceara has seen a spike in violence as drug gangs battle for control.
Violence erupted again in Rio de Janeiro state. Police said gunmen shot five young men to death in a low income housing project in the seaside city of Marica as they returned from a party in the early hours of Sunday. Police said they were investigating the motive for the killing.
On Saturday, Rio police killed eight suspected drug traffickers in a shootout in Rocinha, the city’s most populous slum that is often the site of bloody confrontations between gangs and authorities. Officials said the latest gunbattle began when a team of officers on a routine patrol in Rocinha came under fire from heavily armed gunmen.