Venezuela’s Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez has confirmed that an attack on Maduro took place at the event. Several drones rigged with explosives went off close to the presidential box during the address.
“All the investigations have indicated that (the explosions) were an attack on President Nicholas Maduro,” Rodriguez told media.
Maduro has been moved to safety and is carrying on with his duties, he said. Seven National Guard soldiers have been injured as a result of the failed assassination, according to Rodriguez. The extent of their injuries has not been revealed.
In the video from the scene, Maduro and the officials standing beside him could be seen looking up in the air seconds before the address was cut off. The feed then cuts to a wide shot of the gathered servicemen, who break formation and start scattering.
Maduro was speaking at the event marking the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), a branch of the country’s armed forces, when the incident took place.
Maduro, without any sign of injury, delivered a televised address about two hours after his public speech at a military event was interrupted by loud explosions. Venezuelan officials said explosive drones were detonated near the president in a failed assassination attempt.
Describing the incident, Maduro said a flying object exploded in front of him.
“I thought it was a pyrotechnic fire, in a matter of micro seconds there was a second explosion to my right. You could see people running because they felt the shockwave,” he said.
An investigation into the incident has been launched and some of the suspected perpetrators apprehended, according to Maduro. The president accused far-right opposition and external actors.
“I have no doubt that everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian extreme right, and the name of [Colombian President] Jose Manuel Santos is behind this attack,” he said.
This video is read only with endless theme music which needs turning off. It features Twitter reports. Says drone came down in downtown Caracas. The device failed to get to its target. Was it intercepted? OR someone on the inside dropped it short?