Reports from officials in Venezuela indicate that several drones loaded with explosives were detonated close to President Nicolas Maduro while he was speaking at an event.

But firefighters at the scene of the blast disputed the Government’s version of events.

State television showed Mr Maduro abruptly cutting short a speech on Saturday (local time) causing hundreds of soldiers present to scatter.

Seven people were injured in the apparent attack that came as Mr Maduro celebrated the National Guard’s 81st anniversary, Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said.

“At exactly 5:41pm in the afternoon several explosions were heard,” Mr Rodriguez said in a live address to the nation minutes after the incident.

However, three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press — because they were not authorised to discuss the case — said the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment.

Smoke could be seen coming out of a building window at the site of the incident.

It is currently being reported that several Venezuelan national guards were injured as the result of the explosion. Accusations are flying in the wake of the incident.

Maduro’s wife, Cilia Flores, was standing next to him at the time, and can be seen ducking away from the source of the loud explosions. Images showed bloodied soldiers being carried away and smoking holes in nearby buildings.

Maduro accused neighboring Colombia and unidentified ‘financiers’ in the United States of being responsible for the attack, while some of his officials blamed Venezuela’s opposition.

…Colombia denied any involvement. A senior Colombian official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said Maduro’s accusation was ‘baseless.’

Venezuelan officials also note that Maduro may not have been the only target.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab said the attempted assassination targeted not only Maduro, but rather the military’s entire high command on stage with the president.

Prosecutors have already launched their investigation and obtained critical details from the suspects in custody, said Saab, adding that he would give more details Monday.

“We are in the midst of a wave of civil war in Venezuela,” Saab said.

The chaos is understandable, as a one-million-percent inflation rate coupled with dictatorial socialism tends to breed civil unrest.


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