Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Venezuela's Maduro Survives Explosive Drone Attack

Venezuela's Maduro Survives Explosive Drone Attack

Screengrab taken from a handout video released by Venezuelan Television (VTV) showing uniformed military members breaking ranks and scattering after a loud bang was heard during a ceremony to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the National Guard in Caracas on August 4, 2018.

Screengrab released by Venezuelan Television (VTV) showing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who was unharmed after an exploding drone "attack". Three local authorities said there had been a gas tank explosion inside an apartment near Maduro's speech where smoke could be seen streaming out of a window.

The Venezuelan government has long blamed Colombia for plotting overthrows and, and far-right elements in Bogota and Miami for attempting to undercut Maduro.

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

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Sources who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity have claimed that there was no assassination attempt behind the blasts that rocked the Venezuelan capital on Saturday.

"I have no doubt that the name Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack". The camera then cuts to the scene on the street, where soldiers and others in the crowd are seen running away from what may have been an explosion.

Rodriguez said Maduro was not injured, but seven national guardsmen were wounded. The government blamed the attack on Colombia and the U.S. state of Florida, which is inhabited by many exiled Venezuelans.

Earlier, various reports by worldwide media outlets had indicated that this was an assassination attempt on Maduro.

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It was later claimed by a group calling itself the "National Movement of Soldiers in Shirts".

Venezuela's vice president for communications, Jorge Rodriguez, later addressed the nation on live TV at the request of Maduro.

The Associated Press could not independently verify the authenticity of message. "It was not successful today, but it is just a matter of time". They were being treated in hospital, he said.

Photographs on social media appeared to show bodyguards shielding Maduro with black bulletproof panels. Perez was hunted down and killed by Venezuelan forces in January.

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