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Hostages die in foiled Brazil bank robberies

At least five hostages, including a child, have died as armed police battled robbers who tried to raid two banks in north-east Brazil.

Six robbers also died when police engaged them in a gun battle in the city of Milagres, reports say.

The mayor of Milagres said the hostages were killed by their captors as police moved in.

Two suspected robbers were also arrested in the operation, Brazilian media reported.

Four of the hostages, including the child, were all from the same family, city mayor Lielson Landim told Radio Band News.

According to initial reports, police had surprised the robbers in the early hours of the morning and engaged them in a shootout. The gang then fled, grabbing the hostages on their way.

Some media reports put the death toll at 13.

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