Explosive drones target Venezuelan president in assassination attempt
For all their potential, the utility of non-military drones as a weapon of war and terror is an unfortunate byproduct of their proliferation. This reality has played out in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas over the weekend, where a speech delivered by President Nicholas Maduro was rocked by explosions targeting the unpopular leader, who managed to get away unscathed.
Maduro was addressing a crowd at a military event in Caracas when his words were interrupted by explosions overhead. Maduro and others on stage reacted by turning their gaze skyward but remained put for a number of seconds, before people began to flee.
Recounting the incident afterwards, Maduro said that one of the drones was knocked off-course electronically by the military, while the other crashed into an apartment building two blocks away, according to ABC News. Seven members of the National Guard were injured, including three gravely, while Maduro was unharmed.
Police have arrested six people in relation to the attack, with security forces reportedly stopping a black Chevrolet with three men, remote controls, tablets and computers found inside. Anti-Maduro protest group The National Movement of Soldiers in T-Shirts, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
A range of anti-drone devices have emerged over the past few years, as companies look to offer safety solutions that can take down airborne threats. The options include shoulder-mounted net cannons, trained eagles and guns that fire radio waves into the distance to scramble an incoming drone's control channels, a tactic that sounds similar to that used by Venezuela's security forces.
In 2013, German Chancellow Angela Merkel was confronted with a Parrot AR Drone during a campaign rally in Dresden. The drone carried no explosives and hovered harmlessly in front of her before crashing into the stage, but does go to show the threat these ever-cheaper aircraft can pose when in the wrong hands.
Source: ABC News