Maduro Survives Drone Assassination Attempt

Pope Francis prays during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 2

The United States had "no involvement" in an apparent drone assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on August 4, national security adviser John Bolton told Fox News.

Venezuelan authorities said on Sunday they have detained six people over drone explosions the day before at a rally led by President Nicolas Maduro, as his critics warned the socialist leader would use the incident to crack down on adversaries.

Maduro survived the assault after several drones armed with explosives flew toward him during a speech at a military parade, an attack he blamed on far-right elements and Colombia's outgoing president, Juan Manuel Santos.

Maduro was delivering a televised speech Saturday evening to hundreds of soldiers when he and his wife, Cilia Flores, looked up at the sky and winced after hearing the sound of an explosion.

Seven members of the country's National Guard were injured, three gravely, officials said.

"As usual, the Venezuelan president accuses Colombia for everything that happens". Under Maduro - who has been in power since the 2013 death of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez - Venezuela has been in a near constant state of crisis. The little-known group Soldiers In T-shirts has claimed responsibility, saying it meant to fly two drones loaded with explosives at the president but they were shot down. In a series of posts on social media, the group said that it had planned to fly two drones but that military snipers shot them down.

An investigation was launched immediately after the incident, . and reports say several people believed to have been behind the attack have already been captured and charged.

Maduro claimed the plotters had been planning to bomb the Miraflores presidential palace and other government buildings.

"I am fine, I am alive, and after this attack I'm more determined than ever to follow the path of the revolution", he said.

Another resident apparently saw the same drone. Mairum Gonzalez says she heard a thundering explosion and in terror ran to her fifth-floor balcony. Moments later she heard a second explosion and saw black smoke rising.

He also blamed Venezuelans living in the US.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, stated "unequivocally" that the United States was not involved.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Bolton said that if Venezuela had "hard information" of a potential violation of U.S. law, "we will take a serious look at it".

Amid deadly, near-daily protests previous year, a rogue police officer flew a stolen helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at several government buildings.

U.S. national security advisor John Bolton insisted there was "no USA government involvement" and even suggested that the incident could have been "a pretext set up by the regime itself". The authenticity of the message could not be independently verified, and the organization did not respond to a message from the AP. He expects the incident to prompt a purge of disloyal officials by the regime, as well as further restrictions on Venezuelans' civil liberties. The government then announced on Sunday that six arrests had been made, with more on the way, and that it had identified "material and intellectual authors inside and outside the country".

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