11 die in Brazil shootout

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Sao Paulo, Feb 6 (IANS/EFE) At least 11 people died Friday and three others were wounded in a shootout between police and suspected criminals in a neighbourhood of Salvador, capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, authorities said.

The clash broke out before dawn Friday in the Salvador neighbourhood of Cabula during an operation of the Rondesp special police patrol

None of the dead belonged to security forces, a military police spokesman in Bahia told Spanish news agency Efe.

According to the spokesman, the police were following a lead provided by an intelligence report to stop a bank robbery that a criminal gang was supposedly getting ready to carry out.

Police said that at 2.40 a.m., 30 criminals met the approaching agents with gunfire, one of whom took a bullet to the head but who is currently out of danger.

The police opened fire and killed 11 people while wounding three others, who were admitted to the Roberto Santos Hospital in the city of Salvador.

According to authorities, 10 guns of different calibres were seized after the shootout.