Two policemen were injured and five police stations were destroyed in the attacks, reportedly ordered by crime lords serving time in prisons in other Brazilian states..

The attacks, some three months before the city hosts the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, prompted Rio de Janeiro state Governor Sergio Cabral to request federal help, which was immediately approved.

Cabral didn't say when the army would take over police operations in Mare, where a series of slums spread along Rio's main highways and near the city's international airport.

"It is a strategic area for Rio. A sensitive area with residents anxious to receive security forces,” Cabral said.

According to Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo, who was by Cabral's side when he made the announcement on Monday, the federal forces will remain at the slum as long as officials deem it necessary.

"The occupation will take as long as necessary. Deadlines will be adjusted according to necessity," the minister said.

Cardozo said the occupation of Mare will not interfere with the "very well developed and prepared" security programme set up for the 12 cities hosting World Cup games.


Latest News from World News Desk