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Unidentified attackers shell buses carrying ex-Brazilian leader Lula da Silva’s supporters

March 28, 8:24 UTC+3

Lula da Silva is making a trip through the country’s southern regions as part of his election campaign

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RIO DE JANEIRO, March 28. /TASS/. Two buses carrying former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s supporters have been shelled by unidentified attackers, according to a report published on Tuesday on Lula da Silva’s Facebook account.

Lula da Silva is making a trip through the country’s southern regions as part of his election campaign in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections. He is being followed by dozens of supporters - his associates in the left Workers' Party (PT) and trade union leaders who are travelling by several specially leased buses. The trip organizers themselves call the trip participants a caravan.

"Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s caravan that was travelling in the south of the country came under attack at least three times when it was moving between the cities of Quedas do Iguacu and Laranjeiras do Sul without a police convoy. Shells hit two buses; no one was injured," the report says.

According to TV Globo Internacional, Lula da Silva was at the Federal University of Laranjeiras do Sul at the time of the accident. Still, Gleisi Hoffmann, president of Brazil's Workers Party (PT), regards the incident as an attempt on the life of the former president. Lula da Silva’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from office through impeachment in 2016, expressed her solidarity with the former head of state. "Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s assassination attempt is unacceptable, and we reveal the escalation of tensions in Brazilian policy," she wrote on Twitter.

On January 24, Regional Federal Tribunal 4 confirmed the verdict over Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s case and increased his jail term from nine years and six months to 12 years and one month. A person charged with corruption by a second-instance court loses the right to hold election positions under Brazilian law. However, despite numerous charges, the former head of state remains the presidential hopeful. The presidential election will be held in Brazil in October, and Lula da Silva declared that he is ready to become a presidential candidate despite the court’s decision.

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