Venezuela President Maduro seems to have ‘survives drone attack’ while he was addressing a military event in Caracas.
The attack evidently happened when the President was speaking at the event to mark the 81st anniversary of the national army, two drones exploded near the president’s podium. His bodyguards rushed to protect him with protective shielding.
Venezuelan President Maduro unharmed after an attack by drones loaded with explosives：official pic.twitter.com/sbM7tmRxIZ
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 5, 2018
Maduro blamed the alleged attack on far-right factions in Venezuela, in addition to the U.S. and Colombian governments. “This was an assassination attempt, they tried to assassinate me,” Maduro said in a televised address, later Saturday evening. Maduro named Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as being behind the attack, according to “initial investigations,” without elaborating.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez later added that seven troops were injured in the attack and are now ubdergoing treatment in hospitals.
#VIDEO El ministro para la Comunicación e Información, Jorge Rodríguez, reportó siete efectivos de la GNB heridos que fueron trasladados a los centros de salud más cercanos https://t.co/4T2OwXEANN pic.twitter.com/iF2GmFs7qw
— NTN24 Venezuela (@NTN24ve) August 5, 2018
“At exactly 5:41 p.m. in the afternoon several explosions were heard,” Rodriguez said, according to the AP translation, in a national address immediately following the incident. “The investigation clearly reveals they came from drone-like devices that carried explosives.”
But, the wire service adds, firefighters at the site of the explosion are disputing the government’s account of what it called an “attack.”
In the meanwhile a little-known group called the “National Movement of Soldiers in T-shirts” claimed responsibility for the attack. In a series of posts on social media, the group said it had planned to fly two drones but that snipers shot them down. “We demonstrated that they are vulnerable. We didn’t have success today, but it’s just a question of time,” said the group, which says it was founded in 2014 to bring together all of Venezuela’s “groups of resistance.”
Maduro won a new six-year term in May but his main rivals disavowed the election and alleged massive irregularities.
Venezuela is suffering under the fifth year of a severe economic crisis that has sparked malnutrition, hyperinflation and mass emigration.