Helicopter launches attack on Supreme Court

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has condemned what he called an “armed terrorist attack,” which saw grenades and gunfire launched from a helicopter over the capital’s Supreme Court building.

In a televised address on state TV Tuesday, Maduro said one of the grenades failed to explode, and no one had been injured, but armed forced had been deployed to hunt down the suspects.
Soon after the attack, a man who identified himself as Oscar Perez posted a video online declaring his opposition to the country’s “criminal government.”
Perez was identified as the pilot of the helicopter in a televised statement by Minister for Communications and information Ernesto Villegas.
In his video message, Perez said he was a pilot in the special response unit of Venezuela’s Criminal Investigative Police (CICPC) and demanded that Maduro step down.
Addressing the camera while wearing a pilot’s flight suit, Perez said he was speaking on behalf of what he termed a coalition of military and police officers and civil officials, and urged the Venezuelan people to continue to fight to protect their constitution.

What happened?

In an address from the presidential palace, President Maduro said the helicopter had flown over the Supreme Court and also the justice and interior ministries.

Officials quoted by Reuters said four grenades were dropped on the court and 15 shots had been fired at the interior ministry.

No injuries were reported but Mr Maduro said “a social activity” had been taking place at the Supreme Court and the attack could have caused “dozens of deaths”. One of the grenades failed to detonate, he added.

Call for rebellion

Around the time of the attack, a video appeared on social media in which a police squad pilot, identified as Oscar Perez, called for a rebellion against the Maduro’s “tyranny”.

“We have two choices; be judged tomorrow by our conscience and the people or begin today to free ourselves from this corrupt government,” he said.

Perez read his statement with four people dressed in military fatigues, ski masks and carrying assault rifles standing behind him.

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