Helicopter hurled grenades at Venezuela Supreme Court: Maduro

Photo: Reuters

A helicopter dropped two grenades on Venezuela's Supreme Court building in a "terror attack" against his government, President Nicolas Maduro said in a speech Tuesday, adding that the weapons failed to explode.

"I have activated the entire armed forces to defend the peace," he said in remarks delivered from the Miraflores presidential palace.

Maduro said he has put the military on alert to respond to the alleged assault.

"Sooner or later, we are going to capture that helicopter and those that carried out this terror attack," he declared.

He did not say when the alleged attack is supposed to have occurred, and said no one was injured and that the grenades failed to detonate.

In his speech, Maduro, 54, said that in addition to firing on Venezuela's high court, the helicopter flew over the Justice and Interior Ministeries.

The beleaguered president, who for weeks has been thundering about alleged coup plots against him, said the aircraft was flown by a pilot who worked for his former Interior and Justice minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres, from whom he is now estranged.

Earlier Tuesday, Maduro repeated claims of a US-backed coup attempt and angrily warned President Donald Trump that Venezuela would fight back against such a move.

His comments came a day after he announced the arrests of five opponents he accused of plotting against him to clear the way for a US invasion.