Violence blamed on a powerful organized crime outfit claimed five more lives in and around this Brazilian megalopolis, authorities said Friday.

The most heinous incident involved two gunmen on a motorcycle who fired indiscriminately at pedestrians in Sao Paulo, striking a woman and her 1-year-old son.

The boy died and his mother remains hospitalized, police said.

Four other people perished in similar attacks in three different Sao Paulo neighborhoods and suburban Guarulhos.

More than 250 murders have been committed since the start of October in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city and financial capital, according to media tallies based on police records.

Many of the victims have been off-duty police

Federal officials suggest the recent spate of attacks on law enforcement in metropolitan Sao Paulo has been orchestrated by jailed bosses of the First Capital Command, or PCC, the region's dominant criminal organization.

That interpretation was bolstered by the statements of an ex-convict arrested this week for a cop killing in interior Sao Paulo state.

The suspect told detectives he shot the policeman at the PCC's behest to settle a debt he owed for drugs supplied to him while he was in prison, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper said.

Though based in Sao Paulo state, the PCC has branches throughout Brazil and even in neighboring Paraguay.

Authorities in Santa Catarina state, south of Sao Paulo, say the PCC is behind a score of attacks on public buses.

Four more buses were burned Thursday night in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina's capital, and officials announced plans to provide police escorts for transit vehicles. EFE