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'Tried to kill me': Venezuela President Maduro escapes drone assassination attempt

05 August, 2018, 11:03 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Venezuelan bolivar notes in her stall at Las Pulgas market in Maracaibo

Maduro and the rest of the government escaped unharmed, he said, adding that seven National Guard soldiers were injured.

A mysterious rebel group made up of Venezuelan civilians and military on Saturday claimed responsibility for an "assassination" attempt on President Nicolas Maduro, according to a statement posted on social media.

A video shows Ms Flores wince, and both she and Mr Maduro look up after an unidentified sound.

Seconds later, dozens of soldiers were seen running away before the broadcast was cut off, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported.

Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro has claimed he survived an assassination attempt involving exploding drones.

David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America who has spent decades researching Venezuela, said the incident did not appear to be a staged attack by Maduro's government for political gain.

AP reports that firefighters at the scene of the explosion are disputing the Government's version of events.

Maduro, who is serving his sixth term as the president of Venezuela, has been facing backlash as the country has been under severe economic crisis for the past five years, which further led to malnutrition, hyperinflation and mass emigration.

During the incident, Maduro was speaking about Venezuela's economy in an address when audio of the live television coverage was suddenly cut off.

He said there was "an explosive charge. detonated close to the presidential podium" and in several other spots along the parade held in central Caracas. "The name of Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack ... the initial investigations point to Bogota", Maduro said.

"Explosions were heard", said Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez an hour later on state TV.

"That drone was coming for me but there was a shield of love", Maduro said.

Maduro said "everything points" to a right-wing plot that initial investigation suggested was linked to Colombia and the USA state of Florida, where many Venezuelan exiles live.

Rodriguez accused the country's right-wing opposition of carrying out the attack.

"After losing the vote, they failed again", Mr Rodriguez said.

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