Maduro in drone ‘attack’ with explosives - Venezuela gov’t

Maduro in drone ‘attack’ with explosives - Venezuela gov’t

Security forces check a building after an explosion was heard during a ceremony attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in support of the National Guard in Caracas on August 4, 2018.

His government said seven soldiers were wounded in the incident.

But Maduro said: "I have no doubt that the name (Colombian President) Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack". Writing on Twitter, he said: "We strongly repudiate a new aggression and cowardly attack on Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian people". The transmission then cut off.

In the statement to el Nuevo, the group claiming responsibility said the military's goals were not achieved. The image was quickly changed to lines of military men in formation in the centre of Caracas, who seconds later all ran to one side.

Maduro spoke Saturday in the capital of Caracas during a celebration of the National Guard's 81 anniversary. A photograph also showed an injured military official clutching his bloody head and being held up by colleagues.

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"We are going to bet for the good of our country", Maduro declared triumphantly moments before the sound of an explosion pierced the air.

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. Opponents accuse him of authoritarianism, saying he has destroyed a once-wealthy economy and ruthlessly crushed dissent.

The head of the assembly, Diosdado Cabello, tweeted that Maduro and the assembled military chiefs had survived a "terrorist attack" he blamed on the opposition.

In the midst of near-daily protests previous year, a rogue police officer flew a stolen helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at several government buildings.