6 arrested over alleged drone attack on Venezuela's Maduro

6 arrested over alleged drone attack on Venezuela's Maduro

6 arrested over alleged drone attack on Venezuela's Maduro

Several drones apparently armed with explosives detonated near Maduro as he was giving a speech to the military on August 4.

An assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was committed with the use of several drones stuffed with explosives.

Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol announced the arrests on state television, saying "several vehicles have been seized and hotel raids carried out in Caracas where important information was collected". The group has said that its goal is to unite Venezuela's resistance groups, and they released a statement late Saturday in which they decried the state of the country under Maduro.

The explosion, which the government said injured seven soldiers, took place during a televised Caracas military parade.

A senior Colombian official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said Maduro's accusation was "baseless".

Within seconds, Maduro said he heard a second explosion and pandemonium broke out.

Perez, who was known as "Rambo", claimed he was leading a revolt against the Maduro government.

A mysterious rebel group also claimed responsibility for the alleged attack.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the involvement of the group, which did not respond to requests for comment on the arrest announcements, or identify any of its members.

The State Department lifted its shelter in place order against US residents in the capital of Caracas Sunday evening, but warned them to "remain in immediate area around their housing".

Joggers and cyclists were taking up two of the lanes that are traditionally used for weekend recreation. Maduro has steadily moved to concentrate power as the nation reels from a crippling economic crisis.

CNN and other outlets broadcast live footage of Maduro looking up and of his wife, standing nearby, noticeably flinching as the explosives detonated. "I went to the balcony and I saw the little plane.it hit the building and smoke started to come out".

Saab said the names of those arrested would be revealed on Monday. Security videos are being examined for clues as well, he said.

Elsewhere, Maduro's allies Cuba and Bolivia condemned the incident. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have left the country over this time, and past year, 125 people were killed across four months of clashes between Venezuelan authorities and anti-regime protesters.

"We warn that the government is taking advantage of this incident.to criminalise those who legitimately and democratically oppose it and deepen the repression and systematic human rights violations", wrote the Broad Front opposition coalition in a statement published on Twitter.

Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver, has effectively sidelined the fractured opposition through control of the courts and the electoral body - and unstinting support from the military, which holds key posts in his government. Maduro blamed it on the far-right opposition in his country as well as neighboring Colombia.

Maduro vowed to inflict "maximum punishment" on those who tried "to assassinate me".

Santos, who is due to hand over power to the hardline right-winger and vocal Maduro critic Ivan Duque on Tuesday, had said this week that the Venezuelan "regime has to fall" and that he could "see it happening in the near future".

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