Multiple arrested in alleged Maduro assassination plot

Nicolas Maduro

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"And I have no doubt that everything points to the right-to the Venezuelan ultra-right, in alliance with the Colombian far-right", he said, adding that "Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack", according to a translated comment reported by El Nacional.

In a press statement, the ministry said it "strongly rejects" the accusation of Maduro, whose country has been in an escalating political crisis between the socialist government and the opposition. "Today, they attempted to assassinate me".

Maduro, who has a history of accusing US forces of conspiring against him, did not provide any evidence for his claims.

The statements were made during an encounter with the diplomatic corps accredited in the country to explain the assassination attempt against the president.

The Venezuelan government has claimed six activists were arrested on Sunday following explosions at a military event at which the Venezuelan President was giving a speech.

"We are determined, determined to defend our homeland, our constitution, our democracy, our institutions", he said.

Venezuela's Minister of Communication says preliminary information shows the explosions came from several "drone-type flying devices" containing explosive charges that detonated in the vicinity of the presidential stage, . and in other areas of the parade.

"But in the meantime, I think what we really should focus on is the corruption and the oppression of the Maduro regime in Venezuela".

"He will use it to concentrate power", Smilde said.

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A little-known group calling itself Soldiers in T-shirts claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it planned to fly two drones loaded with explosives at the president but soldiers shot them down.

"I heard the first explosion, it was so strong that the buildings moved", said Mairum Gonzalez, 45, a pre-school teacher. Mairum Gonzalez said she heard a thundering explosion and ran in terror to her fifth-floor balcony.

He said it was "a crime of terrorism and assassination" and that the "material and intellectual authors inside and outside the country" had been identified, with further arrests "in the coming hours" possible.

U.S. national security advisor John Bolton insisted Sunday that there was "no United States government involvement" and even suggested on "Fox News Sunday" that the incident could have been "a pretext set up by the regime itself".

While denying any USA role, he said that if Venezuela had "hard information" of a potential violation of U.S. law, "we will take a serious look at it".

"We are in the midst of a wave of civil war in Venezuela", Saab said.

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

He added that the armed forces "absolutely repudiate this barbarism in a desperate attempt to destabilize" the government.

No drones could be seen in the television broadcast, which showed bodyguards jumping in front of Maduro to protect him with flexible ballistic shields.

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