Police car on the streets of Sao Paulo
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Gang violence escalates in Sao Paulo

16 November 2012 Last updated at 04:44 GMT

Violence is gripping Brazil's biggest city - at least seven people were killed in Sao Paulo in just one night this week.

More than 250 civilians and 100 police officers have died recently as criminal gangs fight the police.

It is believed this is a reaction to a crackdown on the operations of the state's largest criminal faction, and to violence used by the police to combat the group.

As the battle has spread, innocent people are caught in the crossfire.

Julia Carneiro reports.