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Helicopter attackers group ‘dismantled’ by Venezuelan authorities


Venezuelan authorities have confirmed that the group responsible for an armed attack on several government buildings in 2017 has been “dismantled after a confrontation with the security forces.”

“These terrorists, who were heavily armed with high-caliber weapons, opened fire on the officials responsible for their capture and attempted to detonate a vehicle loaded with explosives,” said a statement from the country’s Interior Ministry on Monday. 

The statement added that two officials from the Bolivarian National Police had been killed and five seriously injured in the raid, while an unspecified number of “terrorist cell” members had been killed, along with five captured and detained.

“We want to congratulate the performance of all the police and military officials who participated in the operations to neutralize this terrorist group,” added the ministry communiqué.

Former police helicopter pilot Oscar Perez published a series of Instagram videos on Monday, saying that he was surrounded by authorities who were shooting at him in a poor neighborhood outside Caracas. The actor was among those wanted for using a stolen helicopter to lob grenades and shoot at government buildings in June, as well as for breaking into a National Guard unit in December to steal weapons.

Venezuela’s government has described him as a “fanatic, extremist terrorist” and a manhunt has been underway for months. 

Authorities appeared to have finally tracked him down in the poor hillside neighborhood of El Junquito.

Source: Telesur (January 15, 2018)