Venezuelan Firefighters Pour Cold Water On President Assassination Claims

Officials claim the President was the target of an attempted drone attack.

Venezuelan firefighters are denying there has been an assassination attempt on President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.

Three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity are disputing the government's version of events, saying the incident on Saturday was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment.

Smoke could be seen coming out of a building window at the site of the incident.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that several drones armed with explosives detonated near Maduro as he was delivering a speech during a military parade.

He characterised it as an attack aimed at the embattled president, who was recently elected to a new term in office despite a crippling economic and humanitarian crisis.

"The investigation clearly reveals they came from drone-like devices that carried explosives," he said.

Maduro is safe and unharmed.

State television showed Maduro celebrating the National Guard's 81st anniversary right before his speech was abruptly cut short.

"We are going to bet for the good of our country," Maduro declared triumphantly. "The hour of the economy recovery has come."

Seconds later Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, looked up to the sky and winced after apparently hearing an explosion.

The cameras then turned to a wide shot of military officers standing at attention in neat lines as they broke rank and began running before the transmission was cut.