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Brazilian soldiers clash with police on strike in Salvador

About 3,500 troops were sent to the capital to break up a protest by Brazilian police, who are on strike.

Some 3,500 soldiers clashed with Brazilian police, who have been on strike outside the assembly in the state capital of Salvador since last week, BBC News reported

The soldiers surrounded the building and fired rubber bullets and charged the crowd of about 4,000 police and their families, who are camped out in the legislative building, the Associated Press reported. The government told the BBC that about one third of Bahia's 30,000 state police officers are involved in the strike. 

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Police in the state of Bahia declared a strike last Tuesday to demand higher wages and better working conditions, CNN International reported. Since then, 93 people have been killed, double the number in the same period last year, according to CNN. There have also been multiple reports of looting, according to the AP. 

Marcos Prisco, a police officer and strike leader, told the BBC that the striking police were frustrated with the Brazilian authorities.

"If the problem is the lack of security, just sign the deal and police officers will return to work today," he said.

The soldiers began arriving in the capital on Sunday, and some were patrolling the streets in armored personnel carriers, which calmed residents' nerves and reined in looting, CNN reported. 

"The Army's actions have gone well, they've been very positive with the presence of troops patrolling the city," the interim Defense Minister Gen. Enzo Martins Peri told state-run Agencia Brasil

The strike has cast worry about preparations for the upcoming Carnival in Brazil's third largest city, which draws thousands of tourists from around the world, the AP reported.

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Salvador will also be the host city for some of the matches of the 2014 World Cup, according to the BBC. The US has advised that citizens avoid traveling to the state of Bahia at this time, according to Agencia Brasil.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/120206/brazilian-soldiers-clash-police-strike-salvador