Brazilian Police Kill 25 Accused of Planning Bank Heists

BRASILIA, Brazil— The police say an operation against a gang planning bank robberies killed at least 25 suspects in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais on Sunday.

The Military Police said that the group had planned to attack financial institutions over the All Souls holiday.It said the operation, conducted along with Federal Highway Police, led to seizure of “a real arsenal of war,” including .50-caliber machine guns, rifles, explosives and bulletproof vests.

The agencies gave few other details.

Large-scale bank heists have become more frequent in recent years in Brazil, with hostages sometimes used as human shields. In August, bank robbers armed with explosives and high-powered rifles terrorized a city in Sao Paulo state, marching hostages down a street and strapping some to their cars as they made their escape.

In December, large gangs of bank robbers raided cities on two sides of the country, again seizing hostages and overwhelming police garrisons.

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