Police officers in body armor swooped into two Manhattan housing projects at dawn on Wednesday in simultaneous raids aimed at scores of suspected gang members indicted on charges of planning and carrying out tit-for-tat gun battles stretching back to the 2011 murder of an 18-year-old basketball star, reports the N.Y. Times.

Helicopters thundered over the two developments at 6 a.m. as radios crackled on the ground among hundreds of assembled officers.

In all, 40 people were arrested on charges of conspiracy, assault and weapons offenses in connection with violence in and around the housing developments, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton and the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in a news conference at Police Headquarters later in the day.

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