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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Venezuela crisis: Authorities suppress anti-government attack on military base

President Maduro called the rebellion at a base in Valencia a "terrorist attack"

A still image from a video released showing uniformed men announcing an uprising at the military base in Valencia. Credit: Reuters
A still image from a video released showing uniformed men announcing an uprising at the military base in Valencia. Credit: Reuters

Venezuelan troops have put down a rebellion against President Nicolas Maduro's government at a military base in Valencia on Sunday, leading to seven arrests.

The attack was preceded by a release of a video to social media of a group of men dressed in military uniform who said that they were rising up against what they called a "murderous tyranny".

Venezuela's defence ministry said that it was "intensely" searching for weapons stolen from the base by those allegedly involved in the uprising.

The left-wing Maduro condemned Sunday's event as a "terrorist attack" and congratulated troops for putting down the rebellion.

Witnesses reported that hundreds took to the streets in Valencia, which is the country's third largest city, to protest near the military base.

Opposition party official, Haydee Franco, said one man was shot dead at the protest. Franco identified him as Ramon Rivas, a local leader in Valencia.

The protesters were largely dispelled by midday after tear gas was used against them.

The South American nation has seen months of protests around a controversial election, which opposition leaders see as an attempt by Maduro to establish a dictatorship.

On Saturday, the newly-elected constituent assembly loyal to Maduro ousted the country's attorney general, Luisa Ortega, a dissident party member who had openly criticised the government.

The members of the 545 strong assembly had been elected after a vote last week, which opposition candidates boycotted.

Ms Ortega, an ally of the country's former President Hugo Chavez, refused to recognise her dismissal, which was condemned by the United States and other Latin American countries.