Shots fired at campaign buses of Brazil ex-president Lula

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a rally in Sao Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil March 23, 2018. Picture taken March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Diego Vara

BRASILIA (Reuters) - At least two buses in the election campaign caravan of former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were hit by gunfire on Tuesday, according to his Worker’s Party (PT).

The Secretariat of Public Security of Parana said in a statement that it was investigating the incident and that Lula was not on the bus at the time of the attack.

In the attack in the southern state of Parana, a bullet left a hole in the body of a bus with a second hitting the glass of another vehicle. Nails had also been placed along the caravan’s route, piercing the tires of one bus, the PT said. No one was injured.

Lula was president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010 and is seeking a third term in October elections, despite a corruption conviction that bars him for running for office. He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and pledged to fight the charges.

“What I’m seeing now is almost the rise of Nazism. What we are seeing is not political, because if they wanted to defeat the PT, they would go to the polls,” Lula said, according to the PT statement.

“If they think doing this will scare us, they’re wrong. It will motivate us.”

His buses have already been pelted with eggs and stones along the campaign trail.

Reporting by Eduardo Simoes; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Sandra Maler