Death toll rises to 14 after bank robbery attempts in Brazil

Death toll rises to 14 after bank robbery attempts in Brazil
Forensic officers load the body of a victim killed in an attempted bank robbery, at an entrance of a municipal hospital in Milagres, in Brazil's state of Ceara, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Brazilian authorities say that at least 12 people have been killed in two attempted bank robberies in Milagres downtown area. (Antonio Rodrigues/Diario do Nordeste via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Authorities say two more people have died after bank robbers attempted to carry out heists in northeastern Brazil, bringing the death toll to 14.

Brazil’s military police said Saturday that the heavily armed group of assailants took hostages who were traveling on federal highway BR-116 around 2 a.m. on Friday. The highway leads to Milagres, a city of 30,000 inhabitants in the state of Ceara.

Military police said the group was planning to take the hostages to two banks when they came under police fire and a shootout ensued.

They said eight criminals and six hostages between the ages of 13 and 60 were among those killed.

The circumstances of their deaths remained unclear.

Public Security Minister Raul Jungmann called the episode a “tragedy.”