Maduro Survives Drone Assassination Attempt (Updated)
Venezuelan authorities said late Sunday that they thwarted an attempted assassination of President Nicolas Maduro by two explosive-laden drones. The authorities said they had detained six people in connection with the attack in which assailants flew two drones, each packed with about 2.2 pounds of C-4 explosive. The military said it defeated one of the drones electronically and the second crashed into an apartment building two blocks away from where Maduro was speaking to hundreds of troops.
CNN and other outlets broadcast footage of a startled Maduro looking up and of his wife, standing nearby, noticeably flinching as the explosives detonated. Dozens of soldiers standing in formation were seen to scatter shortly after the explosions occurred. Security guards quickly moved in with ballistic blankets to protect Maduro. According to reports, one of the drones was supposed to detonate above Maduro, the other in front of him.
CNN reported that seven military personnel were hurt, but Maduro apparently emerged unscathed. Venezuela's Minister of Communication, Jorge Rodriguez, said an initial investigation showed that the explosions came from several “drone-type flying devices,” but NBC news reported they were thought to be off-the-shelf commercial drones.