Murders spike during police strike in Brazil

AP News
Posted: Feb 04, 2012 11:37 AM
Murders spike during police strike in Brazil

The murder rate in Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia has soared during a state police strike that has entered its fourth day.

The state's Public Safety Department says on its website that 51 people have been murdered in and near the capital city of Salvador since the strike began on Wednesday. The government news service Agencia Brasil says that's a 117 percent increase over the same period last year.

Some 2,000 Brazilian army soldiers and a contingent of 650 elite federal police troops are patrolling the nation's third-largest city while officials and strike leaders negotiate an end to the strike.

State officials have said that about 10,000 of the state's 30,000 police are on strike. They are demanding better pay and bonuses.