Update: Opposition leaders in Venezuela have warned that the government might use an apparent assassination attempt against President Nicolas Maduro as an excuse to crack down on legitimate dissent.
Mr Maduro was delivering a televised speech on Saturday evening to hundreds of soldiers when he and his wife, Cilia Flores, looked up at the sky and winced after hearing the sound of an explosion.
Nearby residents said they saw a drone crash into a building and explode about two blocks away from where Mr Maduro was speaking.
AP: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says authorities have captured some of those responsible for what he is calling an assassination attempt.
Venezuela’s government says several explosions heard at a military event were an attempted attack on President Nicolas Maduro. Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in a live broadcast Saturday that several drone-like devices with explosives detonated near the president.
He said Maduro is safe and unharmed but that seven people were injured.
Firefighters near the scene are disputing the government’s version of events.
A previously unknown group has claimed responsibility for an attempted attack on Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro. Soldiers in T-shirts said in a tweet Saturday that it planned to fly two drones loaded with explosives at the president, but government soldiers shot them down before reaching its target.
In an impassioned address to the nation, Maduro said some of the “material authors” of an attack with drones are now in custody. He said far-right wing factions within Venezuela working in collaboration with conspirators in Bogota and Miami were responsible.
He did not provide the names of those detained or describe the charges they are facing. Maduro added that some of those who financed the attack are in Miami and that he hoped President Donald Trump is “willing to fight the terrorist groups.”
He promised a full investigation to hold all those responsible, “No matter who falls.”