Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was forced to evacuate and run for cover during an assassination attempt on Saturday.
While speaking at a military parade in Caracas, drones with explosives flew nearby, the New York Times reports. Mauro was unharmed during the attack, which did leave several injured.
Maduro’s speech was cut short as aides shielded him and his wife, escorting them to safety. The televised event also showed soldiers in the street, breaking ranks and running from the scene. Television footage of the event was cut shortly after.
Later in the evening, Maduro went on television, both to prove that he was not hurt and to assess blame for the situation. In his speech, Mauro blamed neighboring Columbia for the attack, a charge the Columbian government denies.
“To all of our friends in the world, I am fine, I am alive.” Maduro said. “The Bolivarian revolution keeps its path.”
“All the investigations point to Bogotá. They have tried to kill me today,” he added.
Maduro has been the target of opposition from both within Venezuela and internationally as well. The Venezuelan economy has crashed in recent years due to crippling economic sanctions along with the country’s socialist economic policies. Inflation is at record highs and many basic commodities, including food, are becoming scarce.
The Times reported this isn’t the first attack in the capitol.
In June 2017, Óscar Pérez, a rogue police officer, commandeered a helicopter and used it in a brazen midday assault to drop grenades on the Supreme Court building and to fire on the Interior Ministry.
Mr. Pérez took to Instagram to call for others to join his cause and wage attacks against military bases, but he was killed by the government during an assault in January.
In another attack last year, a group of soldiers struck a military barracks west of Caracas. Like Mr. Pérez, they released videos calling for others to join their cause, but no rebellion materialized.
And in 2016, Mr. Maduro himself was attacked by a mob who chased him down the street banging pots and pans and screaming that they had no food.
Maduro has a tight grip on power in Venezuela, and is working to amend the country’s constitution to attain greater control of the government.