Armed robbers stage heist in Brazil

The brazen attack around midnight in Aracatuba, a city of roughly 200,000 people in the interior of Sao Paulo state, is the latest in a series of increasingly violent recent bank heists in Brazil. Experts believe a COVID-19 pandemic welfare program for poorer Brazilians has encouraged robbers to plan bold raids in sleepy regional cities where bank branches are storing more cash.

More than 20 heavily armed men carried out the attack, using 10 cars, Alvaro Camilo, the executive secretary of Sao Paulo's military police, reported.

As the criminals made their getaway, they used locals as human shields and burned cars while leaving a trail of explosive booby traps across the city, the military police said in a statement.

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