Drone strikes targeted Venezuela's president Maduro during speech, government says

Venezuelan bolivar notes in her stall at Las Pulgas market in Maracaibo

Several drones armed with explosives were detonated near Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas Saturday in what a government official termed an "attempt against the president".

Mr Maduro was speaking in the capital Caracas on Saturday during a celebration of the National Guard's 81st anniversary when two blasts were heard at 5.40pm (10.40pm BST).

Hundreds of soldiers lined up as part of the procession on Avenue Bolivar then began running.

"This was an attempt against the president", Rodriguez said.

Smoke was later seen rising above the area where the explosion took place, as well as fire at a nearby building.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said the explosions were an attempted attack on President Maduro.

Maduro's broadcast was cut short after the explosion was heard in the vicinity that, according to Rodriguez, left seven National Guard soldiers injured. Maduro was saying before the cameras quickly moved away from him.

Reporter Roman Camacho tweeted, citing an unofficial source, that drone loaded with C4 detonated close to the presidential box.

Venezuela is going through a crippling political and economic crisis, with hyperinflation soaring toward 1,000,000 per cent, crumbling hospitals and residents migrating in massive numbers.

A National Guard captain, Juan Carlos Caguaripano, early past year attacked a military base with a group of current and former military officials.

Firefighters near the scene are disputing the government's version of events.

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