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VENEZUELAN President Nicolas Maduro claimed yesterday that he had proof that the Colombian government was behind the attempt to assassinate him in Saturday’s drone attack.
Mr Maduro confirmed that the perpetrators of the attack had been arrested and said investigations concluded that they had received training in Colombia.
“It is clear and there is sufficient proof of the participation of the Colombian government of the outgoing Juan Manuel Santos.
“We have the location, the names of the place in Chinacota Norte de Santander where they trained, the assassins, the terrorists,” he explained.
The Bolivarian leader said the people of Venezuela wanted “justice against terrorism” as he detailed the evidence of the assassination attempt, which took place while he was addressing a military parade in Caracas.
He said that a Colombian-trained group had operated the drone from the 10th floor of a building on the business centre of the capital.
The terrorists had done reconnaissance in preparation for the assassination attempt but had aborted two missions — one an attack on the July 5 independence day celebrations — due to a lack of preparation.
Investigations found that the group decided to attack the military parade on August 4 and planned to use two drones — one that would explode with a pentrite chemical component, while the second one was to be used as a diversion, crashing against a nearby building.
However, the attempt failed and the Venezuelan armed forces quickly caught two people with the drone-operating equipment. Those arrested have been identified as Colombian resident Rayder Russo and United States resident Osman Delgado.
More raids relating to the attacks are expected.
The security services confirmed that those currently being held had also participated in violent anti-government demonstrations in 2017.
According to the investigations those involved in the assassination bid were offered $50 million (£39m) and US residency.
Mr Maduro has long accused the US of interference in Venezuela and supporting anti-government forces in order to destabilise the country and topple the Bolivarian government.
Colombia has denied involvement in the attacks, but former president Alvaro Uribe was caught on video footage over the weekend calling for the US to support a push for Venezuela’s military to oust Mr Maduro.
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