Hundreds of armed men have set fire to environmental agency buildings in Brazil’s Amazon region, forcing extra troops and federal police to be deployed to the area to quell the attack.
The arsonists are believed to be illegal gold miners seeking revenge against officials who seized boats which are used to extract gold from the muddy bottom of the Madeira River.
During the attack, buildings occupied by the Humaita branches of Brazil’s Environmental Protection Agency, the IBAMA, and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation were set ablaze, along with several agency vehicles.
Other vehicles belonging to the National Institute of Colony and Agrarian Reform were also destroyed in dramatic scenes, with flames and smoke seen shooting hundreds of meters into the air. The fires raged for more than five hours before firefighters were able to extinguish them.
Jose Leland Barroso, head of IBAMA in the state of Amazonas, told a Brazilian newspaper:  “This …
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