6 arrested over Venezuelan President’s alleged assassination bid

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Caracas, Aug 6 (IANS) Six people have been arrested over an alleged assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro here, the interior minister said.

Maduro survived the assault on Saturday evening after several drones armed with explosives flew toward him while speaking at a commemoration ceremony of the 81st anniversary of the Venezuelan national guard, reports CNN.

The President he blamed far-right elements and Colombia’s outgoing president, Juan Manuel Santos of carrying out the foiled attempt.

Those arrested are accused of “terrorism and assassination”, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said on state TV on Sunday.

Reverol said one of the detained had an outstanding arrest warrant for his alleged role in the August 2017 attack on a military base in Valencia.

The attackers used two DJI M600 drones that each carried 1 kg of C-4 explosive, the Minister added.

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The munitions could cause damage in a radius of 50 metres and intelligence services were able to identify the nearby streets that were used for launching the drones from a distance.

One of the drones flew over the presidential stage with the intention of being detonated by the attackers, but he said the authorities were able to cause it to lose control and detonate outside the area the attackers targeted, CNN quoted the Minister as saying.

Reverol said the second drone lost control and fell into an apartment building, where it exploded on the first floor.

Live footage of Saturday’s incident showed Maduro suddenly looking up startled mid-speech, while beside him his wife, Cilia Flores, winced after a loud bang and dozens of soldiers were seen scattering.

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Seven members of the national guard were injured during the attack.

–IANS

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