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Wednesday , 13 December 2017
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Venezuela : Search on for rebels

The search is on for ten men who have escaped after an attack on a military base in Venezuela.
The authorities said 20 people carried out a small rebellion at the base in Valencia. Eight have been arrested – two more were killed.

Some of the alleged plotters got away with weapons stolen from the base.

Earlier on Sunday, a video circulated on social media showing a group of men in military uniform announcing an uprising in the wake of the creation of a pro-government legislative superbody last week, which was widely condemned as a power grab.

Senior military officials are said to have condemned the assault during a meeting with President Nicolas Maduro.

The assault in the north-western city of Valencia was carried out by 20 people, he said. Two were killed, one was injured and seven were arrested.

Earlier, a video posted on social media showed uniformed men saying they were rising against a “murderous tyranny”.

Despite the incident, the situation appears to be calm in the country.

On state television, Mr Maduro congratulated the army for its “immediate reaction” in putting down the attack in the early hours of Sunday, saying they had earned his “admiration.”

He called the incident a “terrorist attack” carried out by “mercenaries”, and said the security forces were actively searching for those who had escaped. “We’ll get them,” he vowed.

Throughout these past four months of often violent protests in Venezuela, the country’s army has, several times, reaffirmed its “unconditional loyalty” to President Maduro.

The opposition has tried to test that loyalty. When they organized an unofficial referendum last month to let Venezuelans have their say on the Constituent Assembly, one of the questions asked was whether people wanted the armed forces to defend the existing constitution.

So far, the army has remained by Mr Maduro’s side but the video that surfaced on Sunday claiming to be from the 41st Brigade in Valencia and calling for military and civilian action to restore order to the country is an interesting development. One, of course, denied by the Maduro administration who said that most of the men in the videos were civilians, led by a deserter.

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