Caracas drone explosion 'attack on Venezuela President Maduro' - government

Casey GreeneAug 05, 2018

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, security personnel surround Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro during an incident as he was giving a speech in Caracas, Venezuela.

"At exactly 5:41 p.m.in the afternoon several explosions were heard", said Rodriguez said in a live address minutes after the incident.

Venezuelan blogger Larissa Costas has tweeted that Maduro is "well".

State television showed Maduro abruptly cutting short a speech and hundreds of soldiers present broke ranks scattered.

Maduro, who was unharmed, was speaking at a celebration of the 81st anniversary of the National Guard, when detonations from "various drones" near the presidential area and along the parade route occurred, Jorge Rodriguez, the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, said on Venezuelan state television.

Mr Maduro has remained in power over Venezuela, a major oil-exporting nation, despite a collapsing economy and a long-running political crisis that has seen his country isolated internationally.

"We are going to bet for the good of our country", Maduro declared triumphantly moments before the explosion.

The organization did not respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking more information.

Rodriguez said two drones filled with explosives were shot down by trained military guard and seven servicemen were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries.

A little-known group called the "National Movement of Soldiers in T-shirts" claimed responsibility for the attack.

Maduro, a 55-year-old Socialist leader who took over from his late mentor Hugo Chavez in 2013, has effectively sidelined the fractured opposition through control of the courts and the electoral body - and undinting support from the military, which holds key posts in his government.

AP reports that firefighters at the scene of the explosion are disputing the Government's version of events. The audio then cut off.

Last year, a rogue Venezuelan police officer hijacked a helicopter and fired at government buildings in what he said was an action against a dictator.

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