World

Bank robbery shootout in Brazil kills 14

By AAP Newswire

A shootout between police and bank robbers attempting to blow up ATMs has killed 14 people, including six hostages.

Most of the deaths occurred when police opened fire on the robbers at the two bank branches on the main street in Milagres, a small town in northeastern Brazil, a statement by the governor's office said.

Five of the alleged gang members died in the night-time shootout shortly after 2am on Friday, two died in hospital of bullet wounds and an eighth was gunned down in a police pursuit, it said.

Six people who had been taken hostage on a local highway that the gang blocked with a trailer truck also died in the shootout, the statement said. It said three suspects have been arrested by police.

Local media reported that five of the dead hostages were from the same family, including two children aged 14 and 13.

The attempted robbery was interrupted by a police unit that had been tracking a gang responsible for similar bank robberies in the area.