Police killed five suspected drug traffickers and wounded another in a shootout early Saturday in a "favela," or shantytown, in the Brazilian metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, officials said.

Three women and a man were arrested in the operation in the Faz Quem Quer slum on Rio's outskirts, the Rio de Janeiro State Military Police said in a statement.

All five men, none of whom has yet been identified, died at a local hospital.

The BOPE special forces unit of the Rio de Janeiro State Military Police carried out the operation after receiving a tip from a local resident, who led the officers to the spot where the reputed gang members had gathered.

A shootout ensued when the police arrived and the officers later seized two machine guns, two handguns, a shotgun, 2,500 sachets of cocaine and 12 kilos (26 pounds) of pure cocaine, the police said.

Drug-trafficking gangs continue to operate in dozens of favelas in metropolitan Rio de Janeiro despite the state government's efforts to expel them from those impoverished areas.

The effort to pacify some of Rio's most violent and crime-ridden shantytowns is part of a bid to clean up the city's image before it hosts some of the 2014 World Cup matches and the 2016 Summer Olympics. EFE