- A gang of armed robbers used hostages as human shields during a series of deadly bank heists, according to reports.
- The group set fire to vehicles to cut off access to key roads, the BBC reported.
- Explosives were randomly placed throughout the city of Aracatuba. 3 people died.
A gang of armed robbers in Brazil carried out a deadly series of bank heists using human shields attached to the roofs of their getaway cars, according to reports.
The robbers forced hostages to lie on the roofs of 10 of their vehicles and faced being shot if they didn’t comply, CNN reported.
“All I could think about is that I would die,” said one of the hostages during an interview with Brazilian news site UOL.
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The gang targeted three banks in Aracatuba, a small city in the state of Sao Paolo, on Monday, the BBC said.
The robbers successfully broke into two banks and damaged a third, the media outlet added. It is unclear how much they were able to steal.
The BBC reported that, in addition to using human shields, the gang cut off access to key roads by setting vehicles alight and placing remote-controlled explosive devices at 20 locations throughout the city.
Three people died, two of the victims and one a suspected robber, local police told CNN.
Five others were injured, including a man who cycled past as a bomb exploded and had to have both his feet amputated, police said.
The group of armed robbers also used drones to monitor police activity, the BBC reported.
More than 380 police officers are investigating the deadly heist and are trying to locate more than a dozen suspects, CNN reported.