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6 injured as soldiers clash with police in Brazil

Updated: 2012-02-07 14:49
( Xinhua)

6 injured as soldiers clash with police in Brazil

Brazilian army soldiers fire tear gas to keep striking police officers from entering the Legislative Assembly which hundreds of their colleagues are occupying in protest, in Salvador da Bahia, Feb 6, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - Six people were wounded Monday after a confrontation between government troops and local policemen who had been on a strike for a week in northeastern Brazil.

Demanding better pay and working conditions, the policemen have been camping at the Bahia state' s assembly building in Salvador since a week ago and were now surrounded by Army troops called in to reinforce security in the state capital.

The clash erupted after Army troops used rubber bullets against the policemen and cut out water and electricity supply to the building. There were three brawls between the two sides before the incident.

The police strike led to a crime wave on unprecedented scale in Salvador as a total of 93 people were murdered since February 1 and there were many reports of muggings and looting in the city.

However, authorities vowed not to give in to the police protesters. In an interview published Monday on local daily Folha de Sao Paulo, state governor Jacques Wagner said he will not grant any rise beyond what' s already been granted to all state servants, adding that no amnesty would be granted to the protesting policemen.

Government troops were called in to reinforce security of the streets, ports and airports in the city.

The clash occurred merely a week before the beginning of the Carnival holiday, during which Salvador gets completely crowded with tourists. The local US consulate has already recommended that US citizens avoid all non-essential trips to Bahia until situation is defused.

The beginning of the school year has also been postponed, as local teachers' union recommended members not to work until the strike is over.