Dozens of criminals attack banks, cause panic in Brazil city

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Dozens of criminals blew up a bank branch and exchanged gunfire with police officers in a mid-sized city of Brazil's Sao Paulo state, officials said Thursday.

According to state authorities, around 30 armed men participated in the overnight attack in the city of Botucatu, located 150 miles (240 kilometers) from the state capital, then made their getaway. It wasn't immediately clear if the robbery was successful.

Sao Paulo’s Public Security Secretariat said two officers and one suspect were wounded, and police apprehended rifles, vehicles, cash and ammunition. The suspect died after reaching the hospital, and police are searching the region for the others, according to the secretariat.

Television network Globo reported the assailants were heavily armed, wore bulletproof vests and attacked multiple bank branches in the city.

The network also said some residents were taken hostage during the attacks and that the suspects shot up a police station and set vehicles afire before escaping.