Rio InterContinental caught up in violence

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Intercontinental hotel Rio de JaneiroHeavily armed gang members engaged in a gunfight with Brazilian police over the weekend of 21 August, right outside the five-star InterContinental hotel in Rio de Janeiro, prompting the gunmen to storm the hotel and take 35 people hostage. A three-hour siege ensued and ended with three arrests, one death and four injured policemen. Paul Ayscough, a British businessman staying in the hotel, said: “There must have been over 1,000 shots. It was a huge number of shots – automatic fire, pistol fire, everything.”
The violence began when around 60 members of a gang were attempting to return to their base after a night of partying in a nearby favela (slum) when their convoy of eight vehicles was interrupted by police. Some of the gang fled to their own slum, while around 10 were believed to have taken refuge in the hotel. Witnesses have said that around 200 policemen entered the hotel to comb it for the missing gang members.