Rio Carnival underway, but violence overshadows atmosphere

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Amid a week of violence, Carnival celebrations officially kicked off on Friday.

An official ceremony to grant symbolic control of the Brazilian city to the Carnival figure King Momo was held earlier in the day.

Millions of revelers will take to the streets until the end of the Carnival holiday.

In the city’s traditional parade square Sambadrome, samba schools will parade  from Friday to Monday night, and the parades will be broadcasted worldwide.

However, amid the greatest party in the world, Rio citizens have to live with rising violence. In the past four days, five children and teenagers were shot in the city, some of them in their own homes.

On Tuesday, a three-year-old girl was shot to death inside the family car, and a 13-year-old boy was killed while playing soccer. A day later, a four-year-old boy was shot in the back, and remains hospitalized with extremely serious injuries.

Earlier on Friday, a 15-year-old girl was shot in the head and a seven-year-old boy was hit in the arm. Both survived the injuries, but the teen girl’s condition is considered extremely grave.

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