EFERio de Janeiro

The number of homicides in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, whose likenamed capital will host the Summer Olympics next month, has risen this year to 428 per month, or around 14 a day, according to an official report.

A total of 368 murders occurred there in May alone, up 6 percent from the same month of 2015, the state's Public Safety Institute said in its report.

That figure, however, is down from April, the year's most violent month with 471 homicides.

The report also noted that there had been a 90.9 percent increase in deaths during police operations - 84 in May compared with 44 in the same month of last year.

The number of reported thefts, meanwhile, amounted to 9,968 in May 2016, up 42.9 percent from a year earlier.

Rising violent crime is a major cause of concern for authorities slightly more than a month before the Summer Olympics' opening ceremony, which will be held on Aug. 5 at Rio de Janeiro city's emblematic Maracana Stadium.

Several violent episodes have rocked the state in recent weeks, including gang-related shootings on a main highway and an operation to locate a fugitive drug trafficker that led to clashes in different slums and left around 10 people dead.

The latest chapter in this wave of violent crime occurred Thursday, when a shootout between police and suspected criminals in the violence-wracked Mare complex of "favelas," or shanty towns, left hundreds of teachers and students stranded inside their schools and ended with a woman wounded by a stray bullet.

In response, a Rio judge has banned nighttime raids on homes in Mare.