Venezuela President Maduro 'survives drone attack'

Posted August 05, 2018

State television showed Mr Maduro abruptly cutting short a speech on Saturday (local time) causing hundreds of soldiers present to scatter.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that several drones armed with explosives detonated near Maduro as he was delivering a speech.

Security members protect Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after his speech was interrupted in Caracas, Venezuela, on August 4, 2018.

Mr Maduro was seen speaking at an outdoor military event when he and other officials suddenly looked upwards - startled.

The "amateurish" attack prompted embarrassing images of Maduro cut off mid-sentence with droves of soldiers running away in fear, making the president appear vulnerable, Smilde noted.

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Security personnel surround Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after explosions rang out as he addressed members of the military.

Mr Maduro, a 55-year-old Socialist leader who took over from his late mentor Hugo Chavez in 2013, has effectively sidelined the fractured opposition through control of the courts and the electoral body - and undinting support from the military, which holds key posts in his government.

However, some media reports say the government's version of the events are not true.

Since taking power, Maduro has presided over a collapsing economy, hyperinflation, widespread hunger and a mass exodus of refugees seeking to escape dire conditions inside Venezuela.

The BBC said loud bangs could also be heard in the footage.

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Saturday's alleged attack comes less than three months after Maduro won a second term as president in an election that his main rivals and independent observers say was marred by fraud.

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

But Maduro said: "I have no doubt that the name (Colombian President) Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack".

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.

Rodriguez accused the country's right-wing opposition of carrying out the attack.

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