Residents of Brazilian City Told to Stay Home Amid Reports of Hooded and Armed Criminals

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Amid reports that armed criminals were running amok in the city, the mayor of a southeastern Brazilian city warned residents to stay at home in the early hours of Tuesday. 

The mayor of Criciúma, Clésio Salvaro, warned residents via social media just before 2 a.m. local time (midnight ET) that the city was the subject of a major assault and that residents should be careful. 

According to the Associated Press, the unrest began around midnight and lasted roughly two hours in the city of some 220,000 people. 

There was shooting and explosions in the city and a number of people were taken hostage and used as shields against police, Brazil’s Globo network reported. Salvaro told the network that the hostages were released unharmed. 

Close to 30 people wearing hoods participated in the assault, citing civil police, and that a bank was robbed. The individuals blocked access points to the city to prevent police reinforcements from responding swiftly, according to the AP, which cited Globo.