Some 10 armed men burst into a Rio de Janeiro hospital and assaulted a score of people in the reception area, including patients, family members and employees, Brazilian police said Tuesday.

The strange attack occurred around 11 p.m. Monday at a private hospital in the north Rio neighbourhood of Cascadura.

The assailants approached everyone in reception and several who were entering the medical centre to strip them of their mobile phones, jewelry and money.

The gunmen went on to other wards in the hospital, including the emergency room, looking for more victims.

Among the 11 people who later went to the police station to file criminal complaints were three hospital workers.

The robbers stayed less than five minutes in the hospital before taking off in several vehicles, the victims said. There are still no clues as to where they were headed.

Hospital management said in a communique that it is taking all the necessary measures to aid the investigations.

“They came and went with incredible ease, as if it were just routine. There were a lot of people in reception waiting to be seen. There were seniors and patients with hypertension,” one of the victims told reporters “It was three minutes of terror.”


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