SAO PAULO (AP):
Brazilian police yesterday were investigating the killings of six people in Sao Paulo, a city whose homicide rate in the first six months of the year has risen more than 20 per cent.
A police officer said all six were shot to death in the city's north zone late Wednesday and early yesterday. The killings do not appear to be related, he added.
The officer declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the press.
In one incident, four gunmen on motorcycles drove up to a car wash and opened fire against five people playing cards outside, killing three and wounding two.
The officer said three other people were killed in two separate incidents. Details were not immediately available.
Earlier this week, the Sao Paulo State Public Safety Department released figures showing that the number of people murdered in the city of Sao Paulo during the first half of the year was 21 per cent higher than during the same period in 2011, going from 482 to 585 homicides.
During the same period, 2,183 people were murdered in Sao Paulo state, 8.4 per cent higher than the previous year.