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Police seek man in rape, robbery on bus in Brazil

From Shasta Darlington, CNN
May 6, 2013 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The crimes occurred Friday in a suburb west of Rio de Janeiro, police say
  • Police say a gunman robbed passengers and forced them to the front of the bus
  • He then raped a woman and beat her with a gun, a police report says
  • In March, an American tourist was raped, beaten on a minibus in Rio's Copacabana area

Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) -- Police in Rio de Janeiro on Monday were searching for an armed man who robbed passengers and raped a woman on a moving bus.

Police said the crimes occurred Friday evening in a poor suburb west of the city center known as Favela do Muquico.

The attack reinforces the need for more security in a city that will host of high-profile events, starting with a visit by Pope Francis in July for World Youth Day. Rio will also host matches in the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016.

In late March, an American tourist was gang-raped and brutally beaten aboard a minibus in the touristy Copacabana area of Rio.

Rio works to fight crime, change image

According to a police report, in the latest incident, the man robbed passengers and forced them to the front of the bus. He then raped a woman and beat her with a gun.

Passengers told police that the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs. He ran out of the bus after about 30 minutes.

Police are using camera images from inside the bus and witness reports to try to identify and arrest the man.

The attack reinforces the need for more security in a city that will host high-profile events, starting with a visit by Pope Francis in July for World Youth Day. Rio will also host matches in the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016.

In late March, an American tourist was gang-raped and brutally beaten aboard a minibus in the touristy Copacabana area of Rio.

Robberies are not uncommon on public transport in Rio, but the violence of these attacks has shocked residents.

READ MORE: Brazil police arrest 4th person in tourist attack

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