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Easter shooting sparks protests in Brazil

Demonstrators in Brazil have torched vehicles in the southeastern city of Niteroi to protest the death of a young man. He was hit by crossfire in a gun battle between police and suspected drug traffickers on Good Friday.

Four buses, a truck and two cars were set alight on Saturday evening when protesters took to the streets to express their anger at the police force who they hold responsible.

Anderson Santos Silva, 21, was shot on his way to a Good Friday church service.

Protesters said he was killed while trying to protect his mother and nine-year-old sister from the nearby gunfight.

Local media reported that the police have denied any wrongdoing and claim that Silva was hit by a stray bullet. They could not be reached for comment.

Silva was buried on Saturday.

Niteroi is not far from Rio de Janeiro, which will host the World Cup in less then two months time.

In anticipation of the event, which will attracts tens of thousands of football fans, police have stepped up security efforts in the Rio area.

ccp/crh (AFP, AP)