Police raids targeting drug gangs in three Brazilian states have left at least 45 people dead.

In the latest operation in Rio de Janeiro, police said they returned fire in a shoot-out in the Complexo da Penha area, killing at least 10.

Earlier, 16 people died in clashes during a five-day police raid in So Paulo state, dubbed Operation Shield.

And in the north-eastern state of Bahia, officials say 19 suspects have been killed since Friday.

Fifty-eight people were arrested during the operation in So Paulo state, which began after a special forces police officer was killed on Thursday in the coastal town of Guarujá.

Police seized 385kg of narcotics as well as guns.

The operation in Guarujá was criticised by Brazil’s Justice Minister, Flavio Dino, who said the police’s reaction was not proportional to the crime committed.

During an interview on Tuesday, So Paulo state governor Tarcisio de Freitas said two police officers were among those killed during clashes.

Amnesty International said the Guarujá police raid showed “clear signs of seeking vengeance for the death of a police officer”.

In Rio de Janeiro, a drug trafficking kingpin and a trafficker were among the 10 people killed on Wednesday.

Four others were injured, including a police officer.

According to the city’s military police, the operation in Complexo da Penha, a group of favelas in the north of the city, was launched after intelligence information suggested that a meeting of drug trafficking ringleaders would be taking place in the area. Foreign Media