A group of Pemon indigenous people led by at least one rebel military officer led an attack during the overnight hours on two military installations in Bolivar state, killing one soldier and making off with over a hundred weapons, ammunition and other equipment. Details on the raids are scarce. El Universal is reporting that in total, the group was made up of approximately 12 Pemon indigenous persons and one military officer who acted as their leader.
The raiders’ first target was the headquarters of the 513th Mariano Montilla Batallion, located in the Luepa municipality of Bolivar state. Preliminary information indicates that the group managed to steal the following weapons and equipment:
- 112 AK-103 rifles
- 60 grenades
- 1 Ford 350 truck
- 1 Toyota Hillux
After leaving the base, the group proceeded to raid a local police station from which they stole pistols and shotguns.
The group eventually came across government forces. In the ensuing firefight, one soldier was killed. The government claims that following the confrontation, it was able to recover a large number of weapons and ammunition from the raiders, who apparently escaped.
A local journalist named German Dam reported on his Twitter account that the group is under the leadership of a former National Guard soldier named Darwin Malaguera Ruiz, who fled Venezuela on February 23 of this year at the urging of opposition leader Juan Guaido as part of his effort to have the army turn against Maduro. Dam claims that Malaguera was captured earlier today, and that he is being tortured.
Regime Claims Threat Neutralized
Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez spoke on today’s raids through his Twitter account. While Padrino Lopez did not provide many details, he did say that some of the raiders were in detention, and that the armed forces were hot on the heels of the ones who escaped.
Padrino Lopez also claimed that the raiders belong to “an extremist faction of the opposition”, but provided no explanation.
Gilber Caro Appears in Court, Denied Legal Representation
Caro’s lawyers were prevented from entering the hearing, as the court attempted to appoint their own lawyers to Caro’s defense against his wishes. The reason for Caro’s arrested has yet to be made clear.
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