Eli Ridder | CANADA
(71 Republic) – Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro was unharmed during a what officials called a drone attack during a speech on Saturday, with the president later blaming Colombia for the incident.
Images from broadcasters and news agencies show a large crowd of soldiers panicking shortly after the blasts, with some witnesses recalling dual explosions.
Though it was originally reported as a false alarm, Saturday’s incident is being treated as an intentional assassination attempt on Mr. Maduro, Venezuela’s communications minister Jorge Rodríguez said.
“At exactly 5:41 p.m. detonations were heard” of flying artifacts “of the drone type, several drones,” Mr. Rodríguez said, reported local media.
Firefighters who were at the scene of the suspected drone bomb attack are disputing the government’s version of events, claiming it was simply a gas tank explosion in someone’s home nearby.
The gas tank explosion was the original claim, with accompanying photos of a burning apartment.
Maduro, a former bus driver who replaced former President Hugo Chavez after his death in 2013, won a new six-year term in May, however, his main rivals claimed corruption in the election and alleged massive irregularities.
Maduro set up a so-called puppet constitutional assembly that tore power from the normal elected legislation of the country in a move many say was to keep a hold on power.
Venezuela is embroiled in increasing turmoil, as it enters a fifth year of its severe economic crisis that has resulted in malnutrition, mass emigration, hyperinflation and rebellion.
The president blamed Colombia for what he called an attack late on Saturday, hours after the incident occurred.
Featured Image From Before Explosion Occurred, Image Source