Six arrested after Venezuela ‘drone attack’ on President

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CARACAS, Venezuela

Six people have been arrested in Venezuela for involvement in an apparent assassination attempt on President Nicolás Maduro, the interior minister says.

Néstor Reverol said they were part of a group that loaded two drones with explosives and set them off during a military parade in the capital Caracas.

Mr Maduro has warned that the perpetrators will face “maximum punishment”.

The President has blamed Colombia and the opposition for the incident but provided no evidence.

In response, Colombia said the accusation was “baseless”.

Many opposition leaders have already left the country citing government harassment and there are reported to be more than 200 political prisoners in the country’s jails.

Meanwhile Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez declared his unconditional loyalty to the president on national TV.

“We are determined, determined to defend our homeland, our constitution, our democracy, our institutions,” he said.

Correspondents say Mr Maduro has relied heavily on the armed forces to keep power in the midst of an economic crisis and political turmoil.