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Venezuelan minister insists drone attack on Maduro was real

Venezuelan minister insists drone attack on Maduro was real

Those arrested are accused of "terrorism and assassination", Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said Sunday.

On Saturday evening, Mr Maduro was giving a speech at a military parade in Caracas, before he and his wife, Cilia Flores were seen gazing into the sky upon hearing an explosion go off. Colombia called the claim absurd and said it had become "customary for Maduro to blame Colombia for any kind of problem in his country". "The investigation clearly reveals [the explosions] came from drone-like devices that carried explosives". The type of drone used for the attacks was a DJI M600.

One of the drones flew over the presidential stage with the intention of being detonated by the attackers, Reverol said, but authorities caused the drone pilot to lose control of the aircraft, and its explosive cargo detonated some distance from the targeted area.

The plot was hatched at least six months ago, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez told the state-run Russian media outlet, Sputnik.

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The attack on the Venezuelan president took place during a ceremony to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard, in Caracas. Dozens of soldiers scattered.

Maduro appeared on national TV hours later to speak about the investigation and arrests.

The far right in both Venezuela and Colombia, along with outgoing Colombian President Santos, plotted the attack, Maduro charged.

"In Venezuela's inflation-hit economy, a single USA dollar can buy 3.5 million liters of gasoline - an absurdity that the government says it will tackle with a hike in the cost of state-subsidized fuel", writes the AFP.

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However, he asserted the "intellectual authors" and financiers behind the plan are resident in Florida.

In an apparent response, Bolton said "if the government of Venezuela has hard information that they want to present to us that would show a potential violation of USA criminal law, we'll take a serious look at it".

A spokesperson for the Colombian president, who leaves office on Tuesday said: "The president is focused on the baptism of his granddaughter and not on bringing down foreign governments".

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