Unknown assailants detonated an explosive device in Fortaleza (Ceará state) on Thursday, January 10, damaging a bridge. Officials indicated an unidentified criminal group targeted the bridge on Dr. Joaquim Bento Street; an additional explosive device was discovered at a viaduct in Conjunto Esperanza and subsequently defused by police. Consequent road closures are expected in the affected area over the coming hours.
Security forces, recently deployed to the state amid a wave of violence, have erected dozens of checkpoints around Fortaleza. A heightened security presence is to be expected near checkpoints in Fortaleza and other cities in Ceará state over the coming weeks.
The Brazilian government deployed 300 troops to Ceará state, including to Fortaleza, on January 4 to curb gang violence amid a wave of related attacks. Officials believe that the attacks - including dozens of shootings and low-level bombings targeting buses, businesses, and infrastructure - have been organized by criminal gangs to protest increasingly stringent security measures in the state's prisons.
Individuals in Ceará state, particularly those in Fortaleza, are advised to remain vigilant at all times, report any suspicious objects or behavior to the police, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Conceal conspicuous signs of wealth to avoid attracting the attention of would-be thieves. Note that criminals are often armed and never offer resistance in the event of a mugging.
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