He­li­copter at­tack on top Venezuela court

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

A HE­LI­COPTER from Venezuela’s Sci­en­tific, Pe­nal and Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions agency which was stolen on Tues­day, cir­cled around the Supreme Court build­ing, fir­ing shots to­ward the build­ing, fol­lowed by two ex­plo­sions which were said to be grenades.

The top court’s build­ing in north­ern Cara­cas was sealed off af­ter the na­tional guard re­pelled the at­tack, which oc­curred around 5pm lo­cal time.

A ban­ner was un­furled from the he­li­copter that read, “350 Lib­er­tad,” in ref­er­ence to ar­ti­cle 350 of the Bo­li­var­ian Con­sti­tu­tion that op­po­si­tion forces are at­tempt­ing to in­voke to stop the Na­tional Con­stituent Assem­bly.

The Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion Ernesto Vil­le­gas de­nounced the armed at­tack, iden­ti­fy­ing Os­car Al­berto Perez as the pi­lot who shot 15 times at the In­te­rior Min­istry, where 80 peo­ple were still at work.

Vil­le­gas re­it­er­ated that “these types of ter­ror­ist at­tacks will not de­tain the Con­stituent Assem­bly due on July 30”.

De­spite ru­mours to the con­trary, all was calm in the cap­i­tal area af­ter the at­tacks, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro said that be­cause of the rapid re­ac­tion to the coup at­tempt by Venezue­lan forces, many civil­ian lives had been saved as grenades and shots rang out near the Supreme Court build­ing as well as the In­te­rior Min­istry build­ing.

“The en­tire air de­fence and de­tec­tion plan was im­me­di­ately ac­ti­vated to guar­an­tee the peo­ple’s right to peace against an armed at­tack,” he said.

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

A demon­stra­tor at­tends a rally against Venezuela’s Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro’s govern­ment in Cara­cas on Tues­day.

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