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Transmission tower blown up in wave of violence in Brazil

SAO PAULO — Law enforcement authorities say criminal gangs armed with explosives destroyed a transmission tower and a car dealership as a wave of violence unleashed more than 10 days ago in Brazil’s northeastern state of Ceara shows no sign of abating.

The state’s public security department said Saturday that 194 attacks against banks, police stations and other public buildings have taken place over the past 11 days. It said that at least 150 suspects have been taken into custody.

The attacks have occurred in Fortaleza, the capital, and in close to 50 other cities.

Authorities have said the attacks were ordered by organized crime groups in retaliation for plans to impose tighter controls in the state’s prisons. Brazil’s prison gangs are powerful and their reach extends outside the country’s penitentiaries.

The Associated Press