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The alleged attack involved two drones, each carrying a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the plastic explosive C4, which Reverol said on state television is "capable of causing effective damage over a 50-meter (164-foot) radius".

He said one of the drones flew over the tribune where Maduro was giving a speech to mark a military parade but that it became "disoriented by signal inhibiting equipment" and was thus "activated outside the assassins' planned perimeter".

Live footage of the event showed him suddenly looking up startled mid-speech, while beside him his wife, Cilia Flores, winced after a loud bang and dozens of soldiers were seen scattering. Security guards quickly moved in with ballistic blankets to protect Maduro.

The other machine collided into a nearby building and exploded, he said.

Investigators continued searching a blackened apartment building near the site while also seizing vehicles and raiding more than one hotel where they said they had found "film evidence".

"We're dealing with the crime of terrorism and attempted assassination that was foiled", Reverol said.

Firefighters at the scene in Caracas on Saturday have disputed the official version.

Trump's adviser, John Bolton, says he can state "unequivocally" that "there was no USA government involvement in this at all".

As for Maduro's accusations that the alleged perpetrators are in Florida and Colombia, Andrade said that this is part of the "stigmatized Cuban script that is always the fault of the Miami and now Bogota groups".

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Bolton said that if Venezuela had "hard information" of a potential violation of United States law, "we will take a serious look at it".

Venezuela
Watch an alleged drone attack on Venezuela’s president sends soldiers fleeing

The Colombian government has denied any involvement, saying there is "no basis" to Mr Maduro's allegations. The cameras of the state-run television channel then cut away to pandemonium breaking out among assembled soldiers fleeing to seek cover.

Amid deadly, near-daily protests previous year, a rogue police officer flew a stolen helicopter over the capital and launched grenades at several government buildings.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab said the names of those arrested would be published on Monday.

He says the economic malaise gripping Venezuela is an "economic war" and any unrest is plotted by foreign powers.

"I'm surprised that this hasn't been done more", said Sarah Kreps, associate professor of government at Cornell University.

Images on social media showed officers surrounding Maduro with what appeared to be a black bulletproof shields as they escorted him from the site.

The event had been just one more of many Maduro routinely holds with members of the military, a key faction of Venezuelan society whose loyalty he has clung to as the nation struggles with crippling hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.

He added that the armed forces "absolutely repudiate this barbarism in a desperate attempt to destabilize" the government.

Maduro often accuses the opposition and the United States of working together to foment a "coup" to topple him.

Germany said merely that it was "closely following developments on the ground", while Portugal opined that the crisis in Venezuela could be overcome by "dialogue and national consensus" in line with "democratic principles".


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