Six Detained in Failed Plot to Assassinate Venezuela’s Maduro

Six Detained in Failed Plot to Assassinate Venezuela’s MaduroSix Detained in Failed Plot to Assassinate Venezuela’s Maduro

Authorities detained six people suspected of using explosives-laden drones in a failed bid to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, officials said on Sunday.

Interior Minister Nestor Luis Reverol described it as a terrorist attack and said more arrests could follow within hours. Investigators have raided hotels and seized vehicles for details into the plot.

Venezuela’s government alleged Sunday that the detained suspects conspired with others in Miami and the capital of neighboring Colombia, though they offered no specific evidence. Opposition leaders criticized Maduro for broadly singling out his political opponents, and warned that he might use the attack to further suppress his critics, CBS reported.

Maduro and his allies called the attack direct proof of an international plot to overthrow his administration, while also saying that the military’s response shows he still has the loyalty of Venezuela’s soldiers.

But analysts said the images broadcast live on television when the attack struck during a Maduro speech Saturday evening made him appear vulnerable.

“Seeing trained soldiers fleeing in apparent panic and disarray before an explosion strongly contrasts with the idea of monolithic control and loyalty of security forces that Maduro prides himself on,” the New York-based Torino Capital investment firm said.

The assailants flew two drones each packed with 2.2 pounds of C-4 plastic explosive toward Maduro, his wife and other top leaders as he spoke Saturday evening at an event celebrating the 81st anniversary of the National Guard, Reverol said. One of the drones was to explode above the president while the other was to detonate directly in front of him, he added.

But the military managed to knock one of the drones off course electronically and the other crashed into apartment building two blocks away from where Maduro was speaking to hundreds of troops, Reverol said.

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