Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro Subject to Drone Assassination Attempt

Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro Subject to Drone Assassination Attempt

Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro Subject to Drone Assassination Attempt

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a military parade to celebrate the 206th anniversary of Venezuela's independence in Caracas, Venezuela, July 5, 2017.

A broadcast by Maduro was cut short during an outdoor speech at a military event in Caracas and soldiers were seen running before the televised transmission was cut off.

Maduro, who was unharmed, was speaking at a celebration of the 81st anniversary of the National Guard, when detonations from "various drones" near the presidential area and along the parade route occurred, Jorge Rodriguez, the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, said on Venezuelan state television.

"This was an attempt to kill me", AP quoted Maduro as saying.

Mr Maduro said several perpetrators had been arrested and initial investigations pointed to Bogota (capital of Colombia), in collusion with his own opposition.

"After losing the vote, they failed again", Mr Rodriguez said.

During the incident, Maduro was speaking about Venezuela's economy in an address when audio of the live television coverage was suddenly cut off.

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Elster tweeted, "Unconfirmed reports say it was an assassination attempt of Maduro by a drone, unclear if there is any casualties in this incident".

The attack comes as the nation struggles with an economic crisis.

Meanwhile, late Saturday, a civilian and military rebel group calling itself the "National Movement of Soldiers in Shirts" claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Firefighters at the scene of the blast disputed the government's version of events.

Venezuela's worldwide government broadcaster, TeleSUR, said on Twitter that the Venezuelan government confirmed an attempted attack on Maduro. The Associated Press could not independently verify the authenticity of the message.

Photographs on social media appeared to show bodyguards shielding Maduro with black bulletproof panels.

"Today we continue our struggle, because the Bolivarian National Armed Forces function is to guarantee the independence, the sovereignty of the nation, territorial integrity and internal public order", the group said.

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