Soldiers battled for three hours Sunday morning against a small band of anti-government fighters who sneaked onto a Venezuelan army base, apparently intent on fomenting an uprising, according to President Nicolas Maduro. Troops killed two of the intruders, wounded another, and captured seven, but 10 others got away, the embattled leader announced in his weekly broadcast on state television. "We know where they are headed and all of our military and police force is deployed," Maduro said. He said he would ask for "the maximum penalty for those who participated in this terrorist attack." The incident happened during the early morning hours at the Paramacay base in the central city of Valencia.
A video showing more than a dozen men dressed in military fatigues, some carrying rifles, circulated widely on social media as the attack began, the AP reports. In the recording, a man who identified himself as Capt. Juan Caguaripano said the men were members of the military who oppose Maduro's socialist government and called on military units to declare themselves in open rebellion. "This is not a coup d'etat," the man said. "This is a civic and military action to re-establish the constitutional order." Maduro said the intruders managed to reach the base's weapons depot before an alarm sounded, alerting troops to the incursion. "Today we had to defeat terrorism with bullets," Maduro said.