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6 Arrested After Drones Target Venezuelan President

Nicolas Maduro has blamed a far right plot to assassinate him
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2018 3:00 PM CDT
In this still from a video, Presiden Nicolas Maduro, delivers his speech as his wife Cilia Flores winces.   (Venezolana de Television via AP)

(Newser) – Six suspects have been arrested following what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called an attempt on his life during a speech Saturday. Per Reuters, one of the six had an arrest warrant connected to a 2017 attack on a military base, while another was once arrested for protesting the government in a street demonstration. Maduro has accused far-right opponents of plotting against his socialist government. "This was an assassination attempt, they tried to assassinate me," Maduro said after a explosives-laden drone detonated at a military event in Caracas as he spoke. The leftist leader was unharmed but seven members of Venezuela's National Guard were injured, three of them gravely.

The exploding drone was one of two that the AP reports were laden with two pounds of explosives when they hovered into the event. The second reportedly crashed into a building and exploded. As Interior Minister Nestor Luis Reverol announced that more arrests could follow the first six, Maduro's critics warned that his government could use the attack as justification for a crack-down on anyone who opposes it. In a statement, the Broad Front opposition coalition said "the government is taking advantage of this incident ... to criminalize those who legitimately and democratically oppose it and deepen the repression and systematic human rights violations."

(Read more Nicolas Maduro stories.)

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