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Indigenous forest guardian Paulo Paulino Guajajara, seen here drawing water from a well at a loggers' camp on Indigenous land in the Arariboia reservation, was hunting inside the reservation in the northeastern Brazilian state of Maranhao when he was attacked and killed by illegal loggers on Nov. 1, 2019.Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Illegal loggers ambushed a group of Indigenous forest guards in Brazil’s Amazon, killing one and injuring another, authorities said on Saturday.

A logger also died in the attack on Friday night in Maranhao, a northeastern state, according to Funai, a state agency that represents Indigenous interests.

Paulo Paulino Guajajara, who died after being shot in the face, was a leader in a group seeking to protect the Arariboia Indigenous reserve from incursions.

Federal police will investigate Mr. Guajajara’s killing in order to “bring those responsible for this crime to justice,” Public Security Minister Sergio Moro said.

An Indigenous leader in the area said the forest guards had previously received threats and wore protective vests while on patrol.

“We informed federal agencies of the threats, but they didn’t take any action,” Sonia Guajajara said.

Some Indigenous groups in the Amazon rain forest say they are increasingly vulnerable to incursions by loggers and cattle ranchers. Fires used to clear land in the Amazon increased sharply in July and August, causing international alarm over a region seen as critical to curbing climate change.

Concern about the rain forest had heightened after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office this year with calls to loosen protections for nature reserves and Indigenous lands.

Mr. Bolsonaro says some economic development is necessary in the Amazon.

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