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Venezuelan President escapes assassination

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was unharmed after an explosion went off while he was giving a speech in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital.

Minutes after the attack, Venezuelan information minister Jorge Rodríguez said in a public address that “drone-like devices” carrying explosives detonated in an “attack” targeting the president, the Associated Press and Reuters reported.

The explosives detonated near the presidential box, according to the minister. Maduro’s wife, Cilia Flores, was standing near the president when the explosion occurred.

Addressing the nation after the attack, Maduro said he saw a “flying device” explode in front of him during his speech. The president also announced that authorities have captured some people responsible for the drone attack, whom he called “material authors,” according to AP.

The president blamed the alleged assassination attempt on Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and those on the far-right of Colombia and Venezuela’s political spectrums, according to Al Jazeera’s translation of Maduro’s speech.

Maduro also claimed that a preliminary investigation shows that the people behind the attack lived in Florida, and called on President Donald Trump for help in prosecuting them.

“Already, the first investigations show that those intellectually and financially responsible for this attack live in the United States of North America, in Florida,” Maduro said, according to the Washington Post’s translation of the speech.

“I hope the government of Donald Trump is willing to combat terrorist groups that want to attack presidents of peaceful nations.”

A group named Soldados de Franelas (Soldiers in t-shirts) has also claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter.


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