Rio de Janeiro: Twenty-two people were murdered over the weekend in Natal, a northeast Brazilian city renowned for its fine beaches, in what police said Monday was drug trade-related violence.
"The murders took place between Saturday and Sunday and could have been connected to a power struggle after the arrest of gang leaders," Kalina Leite, secretary for security in the state of Rio Grande, told AFP in a statement.
On Thursday, 13 people were arrested in a major police swoop against a narcotics and money laundering gang in the Mosquito slum in the north of Natal, police said.
An investigation was underway into the latest violence.
Brazil, which hosts next year`s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, has one of the highest murder rates in the world.