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Watch: DJI drones used in apparent assassination attempt against Venezuelan president

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Two DJI Matrice 600 drones laden with explosives were flown towards controversial Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Saturday in an apparent assassination attempt, according to the government.

The attack against the South American leader’s life occurred as he was in the midst of a speech celebrating the 81st anniversary of Venezuela’s national guard in the country’s capital, Caracas. In camera footage from Venezuelan national TV (below), Maduro stands in front of a microphone addressing the soldiers in attendance. Alongside him stand his wife and other government and military officials.

Moments later an explosion is heard and people on stage look towards the sky. Maduro’s security personnel surround him and cover him bulletproof body shields and he is rapidly shepherded off stage. The footage also shows hundreds of troops standing in orderly formation, suddenly scatter following the explosion.

The exact type or amount of explosive is still being investigated. Initial reportage of the explosion suggested that it may have simply been a gas leak at an apartment near the military event and was being used by the government for propaganda purposes. However, footage posted from multiple angles on social media (see below) appear to show a DJI Matrice 600 drones exploding above the parade.

Attack details

Seven people were injured by the explosions but they ultimately failed to reach their intended target, Maduro and others standing on stage. Venezuela’s government said that six people are in custody. Maduro blamed the attacks against Venezuela’s right-wing: “They have tried to assassinate me and everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian far right and that the name of [Colombian President] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.”

Maduro, a 55 year old socialist leader has been in power since taking over from Hugo Chavez in 2013. Despite having the highest oil reserves in the world, the low oil prices of the past several years have seen the South American nation in a severe economic rut. Medicine and food shortages have hit the nation and inflation is hitting staggering levels and could potentially exceed a million percent in 2018. Maduro has faced mass protests and at one early this year, 100 people were killed.

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