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Civilian hostages were strapped to the outside of getaway cars during a huge bank raid by dozens of heavily armed robbers in southern Brazil today.

Up to 50 robbers armed with machine guns, bombs and drones are thought to have raided every bank in the centre of Araçatuba city starting around midnight. 

Raiders attacked local police and blocked roads into the city using burned-out cars to stop reinforcements arriving, before kidnapping locals to use as human shields.

Video shows how gunmen walked lines of hostages through the streets before strapping them to the roofs and bonnets of their cars as they made their escape.

Civilian hostages are strapped to the roof and bonnet of a getaway car used during a huge raid on two banks in the city of Araçatuba, near to the Brazilian capital of Sao Paulo

Civilian hostages are strapped to the roof and bonnet of a getaway car used during a huge raid on two banks in the city of Araçatuba, near to the Brazilian capital of Sao Paulo

Civilian hostages are strapped to the roof and bonnet of a getaway car used during a huge raid on two banks in the city of Araçatuba, near to the Brazilian capital of Sao Paulo

A civilian hostage strapped to the bonnet of a getaway car is driven through the streets of Araçatuba following a huge raid by dozens of gunmen

A civilian hostage strapped to the bonnet of a getaway car is driven through the streets of Araçatuba following a huge raid by dozens of gunmen

A civilian hostage strapped to the bonnet of a getaway car is driven through the streets of Araçatuba following a huge raid by dozens of gunmen

A convoy of cars with multiple people strapped to their bonnets and poking out their sun roofs turns around in the street as the bank robbers flee

A convoy of cars with multiple people strapped to their bonnets and poking out their sun roofs turns around in the street as the bank robbers flee

A convoy of cars with multiple people strapped to their bonnets and poking out their sun roofs turns around in the street as the bank robbers flee

The entire city has since been placed on lockdown with police warning that bombs have been scattered through the streets and residents should stay inside.

One photo shows what appears to be a sophisticated bomb left in the street with a proximity sensor attached – meaning it will detonate if anybody gets too close.

The raid began when the robbers hijacked and burned at least four vehicles, using the wrecks to block roads.

One was placed outside the headquarters of the local military police – trapping officers inside – while two more were placed on the main highway.  

Raiders then moved to the city centre where a fourth burned-out vehicle was dumped near a string of banks.

Raiders then struck branches of the Banco do Brasil, Banco Safra and Caixa Econômica, taking an unknown amount of cash. 

It was then that they started taking hostages – holding people up at gunpoint before strapping them to the outside of their vehicles.

Bombs fitted with infrared proximity sensors were then scattered along the escape route to stop people following them.  

At least four people were injured in the shooting, according to the Folha de Sao Paulo site, which did not give any indication of their condition.

One person was shot during the raid while another, a cyclist, was hit by one of the infrared bombs, CNN reported.  

A line of hostages (right) is marched through the street by two gunmen wearing black (visible centre left and top) during the overnight raid in Brazil

A line of hostages (right) is marched through the street by two gunmen wearing black (visible centre left and top) during the overnight raid in Brazil

A line of hostages (right) is marched through the street by two gunmen wearing black (visible centre left and top) during the overnight raid in Brazil

Bombs were left in the streets to cover the tracks of the retreating gunmen, with what appears to be proximity sensors attached meaning they explode if anyone gets too close

Bombs were left in the streets to cover the tracks of the retreating gunmen, with what appears to be proximity sensors attached meaning they explode if anyone gets too close

Bombs were left in the streets to cover the tracks of the retreating gunmen, with what appears to be proximity sensors attached meaning they explode if anyone gets too close

It is not yet clear exactly how much money the robbers managed to steal, while the exact number of hostages is also unknown.

One piece of footage showed at least four people being marched through the streets by two gunmen, at least one of whom was firing shots into the air.

Another, taken from a CCTV camera, shows a convoy of cars – believed to be used by the raiders – turning around in the road.

At least ten hostages can be seen strapped to the outside of the vehicles.

Some are left laying on the bonnets, one is strapped to the roof, while others emerge from sunroofs with their hands raised.  

The raid is similar to one that was carried out in the same city in 2017, during which the headquarters of a cash transport company was attacked.

During that robbery, up to 30 men surrounded the headquarters of the military police, blocked it with burning cars, then shot at the entrance – killing one officer.

They then used dynamite to blow up the cash firm’s safe, load up the bank notes, and make their getaway down the main highway.

Two more trucks were hijacked and burned with the wrecks left along the route to stop police from following.

Police did not name the gang they believe to be responsible for that raid, making it difficult to tell whether Monday’s attack was carried out by the same outfit – or was a copycat attack. 

Source: DailyMail

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