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Venezuelan President Maduro's speech abruptly cut short

Venezuelan President Maduro's speech abruptly cut short

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro abruptly cut short a televised speech and soldiers present broke ranks and scattered after hearing several explosions Saturday in what the government called an attempted attack on the socialist leader.

Seconds later, dozens of soldiers were seen running away before the broadcast was cut off, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported.

Media reports say during the speech Maduro and other officials suddenly looked upwards with startled expressions.

"President Nicolas Maduro asked me to inform the country about what is happening and extend peace to everyone", Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said Maduro was not injured, but seven national guardsmen were wounded.

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




The parade Maduro attended was to mark the one-year anniversary of the Constitutional Assembly, a rival legislative body packed with Maduro loyalists that arrogated powers from the opposition-ruled National Assembly.

Rodriguez said Maduro will speak to the nation later Saturday evening.

He added that "several" drones loaded with explosive charges "detonated near the presidential platform".

But firefighters at the scene of the blast disputed the government's version of events. State television's transmission then ended without explanation.

In the statement to el Nuevo, the group claiming responsibility said the military's goals were not achieved.

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