Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro survives alleged drone assassination attempt while making a speech at Army event, as video shows soldiers running from the scene
- President Maduro was speaking during the National Guard’s 81st anniversary
- Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said several drone devices had detonated
- He added that Maduro is safe and unharmed but that seven people were injured
Seven national guards have been injured in Venezuela after what is believed to have been an assassination attempt on socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in a live broadcast that several drone-like devices with explosives detonated near the president.
He said Maduro is safe and unharmed but that seven people were injured.
‘At exactly 5.41pm in the afternoon several explosions were heard,’ Rodriguez said in a live address to the nation minutes after the incident.
‘The investigation clearly reveals they came from drone-like devices that carried explosives.’
Footage broadcast by state television has shown the Venezuelan leader abruptly cutting short a speech as hundreds of soldiers scatter.
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Mr Maduro was speaking in the capital of Caracas during a celebration of the National Guard’s 81st anniversary.
He was standing next to his wife Cilia Flores and several high ranking military officials for the event broadcast on radio and television.
A video shows Ms Flores wince and look up after a sound. The soldiers lined up in ranks then begin running. The transmission was cut without explanation.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reacts after hearing the multiple blasts in Caracas
Maduro (pictured moments before the blast) is reportedly unharmed
The attack happened during an event celebrating the National Guard’s 81st anniversary
Cameras captured the moment military officers standing at attention in neat lines broke rank and began running
‘To the conscious Venezuela, we are going to bet for the good of our country, the hour of the economic recovery has come and we need…’ Mr Maduro was saying before the cameras moved away from him.
However, firefighters near the scene are disputing the government’s version of events.
The attack comes as the nation struggles with an economic crisis.
A once-wealthy oil country, Venezuela’s economy is crumbling in a five-year recession following two decades of socialist rule and plummeting crude production.
Venezuela’s soaring inflation is predicted to top 1 million percent by the end of the year, economists at the International Monetary Fund recently predicted.
Security forces and members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service check a building after the drone detonated its load
Venezuelan military arrive to participate in the televised event, which was the target of a drone attack
The site of the attack in central Caracas where the nation’s president was the target of a failed assassination attempt
Passers-by and those attending the event are corralled by special forces attempting to shield them from danger
Security forces check a building after an explosion during a ceremony attended by President Nicolas Maduro. A large black blast mark was left on the side of a building
The country’s economic turmoil compares to Germany’s after World War I and Zimbabwe’s at the beginning of the last decade, IMF officials said, adding that Venezuela’s economic contraction ranks among the world’s deepest in six decades.
Maduro, the self-described ‘son’ of Chavez, says he is battling an ‘imperialist’ plot to crush socialism and take over Venezuela’s oil.
Opponents say he has destroyed a once-wealthy economy and ruthlessly crushed dissent.
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