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Brazil: Gunmen on school shooting rampage kill 8 people, including 5 teenagers

SUZANO: Two gunmen wearing face masks entered a Brazilian school on Wednesday and shot dead at least five teenagers as well as two school officials, before fatally turning their gun on themselves, police said.

Before entering the Raul Brasil school in Suzano, a city on the eastern outskirts of metropolitan Sao Paulo, the assailants, former pupils aged 17 and 25, shot and killed the owner of a car rental agency from which they had stolen a vehicle.

Ten people, including the gunmen, were killed in total, Sao Paulo police said. The students who died were mostly 15 and 16 years old.

It is not yet clear why the gunmen attacked the school, which is in a middle-class neighborhood and has about 1,000 children aged 11 to 16 attending classes.

School shootings are rare in Brazil, although the country is one of the world`s most violent, with more annual homicides than any other. The last major school shooting was in 2011, when 12 children were shot dead by a former pupil in Rio de Janeiro.

Gun laws are extremely strict in Brazil, but it is not difficult to illegally purchase a weapon. Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro made relaxing gun control a cornerstone of his campaign last year.

Wednesday`s shooting ignited debate among political leaders, with some saying armed teachers could have prevented the killings, while others said putting more guns on Brazilian streets will only lead to more deaths.