Anti-government attack on Venezuelan base quashed

Venezuelan authorities suppressed a small rebellion at a military base near the city of Valencia today, arresting seven men who they say participated in a “terrorist attack” against the government of unpopular President Nicolas Maduro.

Two assailants were killed and eight captured in the attack, Mr Maduro said on state television.

Earlier today a video circulated on social media showing a group of men in military uniform announcing an uprising in the wake of the creation of a pro-government legislative superbody on Friday, which was widely condemned as a power grab.

Some of the alleged plotters got away with weapons stolen from the base, and state security forces were “intensely” searching for them, the defense ministry said in a statement.

Mr Maduro, in a televised address, congratulated the armed services for beating back what he called a “terrorist attack”.

A man is arrested during clashes between anti-government activists and the National Guard in Venezuela’s third city, Valencia

Hundreds took to the streets in Valencia to support the uprising, said resident Carolina Herrera, who like other witnesses reported shots through the night.

But hooded protesters had been largely dispelled with teargas by midday today, and the rest of the South American country of 30 million appeared to be calm.

Still, the episode highlights how volatile Venezuela is after four months of sustained anti-government protests over what the opposition calls the country’s slide into a dictatorship.

Last week Venezuela elected a 545-member legislative superbody that Mr Maduro calls Venezuela’s only hope for restoring peace.

The opposition calls it a naked power grab aimed at keeping the president in office despite low approval ratings.

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