A British woman has been shot at a holiday hotspot near Rio after her family mistakenly drove into a favela, Brazilian media have reported.
The woman was hit twice in the abdomen, newspaper O Globo said, when the car she was in with her husband and three children was fired upon. The rest of the family were unhurt in Sunday’s incident.
The oldest of the three children in car was four years old, Rio newspaper O Dia reported.
Civil police said the family were travelling in Angra dos Reis – a popular coastal holiday destination about 150km (90 miles) west of Rio on the Costa Verde – when they were attacked. Authorities said a group approached the car and apparently told the family to get out before opening fire.
Local police chief Bruno Gilaberte told O Globo the family were trying to buy water when they were told to drive towards the Água Santa – or holy water – community. “This whole confusion seems to have happened partly because of the language barrier,” he said. “They ended up driving towards the Água Santa community where they were challenged by criminals. Because they didn’t understand the order they received to leave the area, they just carried on and were shot at.”
Newspaper O Dia said the area they entered was controlled by the Terceiro Comando Puro – or Pure Third Command – gang, which is one of the main drug factions in Rio de Janeiro.
The police statement said the woman was being treated at a hospital but did not give her condition. Police did not release a name or home town.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are in touch with the local authorities in Angra dos Reis, Brazil, following reports of the shooting of a British national.”
Tourists in Brazil have occasionally been attacked when they accidentally stray into slums, which are often controlled by criminal gangs.