Violence in Venezuela has taken the lives of two people in an attack on a government military base in the city of Valencia. Venezuelan authorities loyal to President Nicholas Maduro claim that they have stymied the attack by armed civilians and other soldiers in the latest escalation of violence that has crippled the country.

Government forces released a video showing a dozen men in military uniform announcing an uprising to restore constitutional order. It coincided with the military’s predawn raid. President Maduro was condemned roundly for making a power grab after he created a pro-government legislative body on Friday.

The assault highlighted the growing volatility of the OPEC member state after four months of sustained anti-government protests in which some 120 people have been killed. The opposition has denounced Maduro for dragging Venezuela toward dictatorship and has appealed to the military for help. (tmsnrt.rs/2ujuylf)

In his weekly televised show, the unpopular socialist leader condemned the attackers as “mercenaries”. He said around 20 armed men had entered the Fort of Paramacay near Valencia, about two hours west of capital Caracas, before dawn, surprising guards and making straight for the weapons cache.

Two of the attackers were killed in a firefight with soldiers, Maduro said. Socialist party officials said eight others were arrested, including at least three from the military, while the remainder made off with weapons.

“Those who escaped are being actively searched for, and we are going to capture them,” Maduro said.

The once thriving economy of oil-rich Venezuela is now stagnant and the people are starving. Many have wondered if the military, which has a reputation for leading coups against the government would stand with Maduro or try to work with the people and replace him as the Socialists have clearly failed.

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