(re-ledes with state gov't acceptance of federal help)


The opposition governor of Brazil's largest state agreed on Thursday to accept the federal government's offer to help Sao Paulo deal with a surge in violent crime that has claimed dozens of lives.

The details of the assistance will be worked out by Gov. Geraldo Alckmin, police commanders and federal Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo, the official Agencia Brasil news agency said.

Alckmin, whose administration had earlier declined the offer of aid from Brasilia, conveyed his new position in a telephone conversation with President Dilma Rousseff, the agency said.

Two off-duty police officers were fatally shot Wednesday night in Sao Paulo, bringing to 73 the number of people killed over the last 10 days in Brazil's largest city.

The officers died in Heliopolis, a sprawling, crime-ridden slum in south Sao Paulo, police said in a statement.

Six other people were killed in separate incidents Wednesday night in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area.

Some civic organizations attribute the mayhem to a war between law enforcement and organized crime.

That theory has gained credence with the discovery of what appears to be a "hit list" of police officers compiled by the First Capital Command, or PCC, the city's most powerful crime outfit.

The Federal Police contacted the state government to pass on warnings from Brazil's intelligence agencies about the PCC's plans to intensify attacks on law enforcement, according to Justice Minister Cardozo. EFE