Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro © Miraflores Palace / Reuters
Sources who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity have claimed that there was no assassination attempt behind the blasts that rocked the Venezuelan capital on Saturday. The commotion was caused by a gas tank explosion, they said.
A version purporting to explain the loud blasts and resulting chaos during Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro speech has emerged, contradicting the official account of the events. Citing three firefighters who were working to contain the fire at a building near the scene, AP reported that it was a gas tank inside one of the apartments that went off, not explosives-laden drones as stated by the Venezuelan officials, including Maduro himself.
Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez described the incident as an attack on Maduro, saying that several drones loaded with explosives detonated on approach to the presidential box, where he was giving a speech next to his wife and a host of high-ranking military officials. The two drones were promptly shot down by Venezuelan military guards, according to Rodriguez.
In his speech post-attack, Maduro said he saw one flying object explode right in front of him and a split second later, another go off to his right.
While neither the alleged drones, nor the explosions can be seen on any of the video clips of the incident released so far, the recorded broadcast does show Maduro and his entourage look up at something in the air just before it cuts off and Maduro's security detail scrambles to shield him with protective gear.
There is also a somewhat conciliatory version on Twitter, which stipulates that at least one of the drones crashed into a nearby building, sparking a fire which the firefighters then went to extinguish.
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