Brazil's Globo television showed footage of soldiers in camouflage searching residents in the favelas and driving down streets in armored personnel carriers.
Officials said the favelas were Lins, Camarista Meier, Morros de Sao Joao and Engenho Novo in the north and Covanca in the west.
"The armed forces are responsible for the perimeters in some of these regions and based at strategic points," the state security service said. "Some roads are blocked and the airspace is restricted to civilian flights over the sectors where the armed forces are operating."
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