In what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called a "terrorist attack" by people seeking to overthrow his government, a police helicopter attacked government buildings in Caracas on Tuesday with bullets and grenades. Officials say the stolen helicopter fired 15 shots at the Interior Ministry before launching four grenades at the Supreme Court building, Reuters reports. There were no reports of deaths or injuries. In a statement posted online, the police officer believed to have piloted the helicopter, flanked by armed men, said he was part of "a coalition of military employees, policemen, and civilians who are looking for balance and are against this criminal government," the BBC reports.
The officer, who identified himself as police pilot Oscar Perez, called for new elections to be held and said the coalition was fighting "tyranny," not security forces. Maduro, whose government has been targeted by violent protests that have left at least 75 people dead over the last three months, said the attack could have "caused a tragedy with several dozen dead and injured," the AP reports. He said the armed forces had been placed on alert. "I have activated the entire armed forces to defend the peace," Maduro said. "Sooner or later, we are going to capture that helicopter and those who carried out this terror attack." (Read more Venezuela stories.)