Venezuela said Monday it derailed a plot to kill President Nicolas Maduro, arresting two hitmen it said wanted to execute the leftist leader on orders from a Colombian ex-president, AFP reports.
Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said at a briefing that Caracas arrested the alleged hitmen, two Colombians, on August 13.
The two, Víctor Johan Guache Mosquera and Erick Leonardo Huertas Rios, were part of "a group of 10 men who were coming to carry out the murder of the president," working with former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, Rodriguez charged.
They were part of a support team for a "highly experienced hitman" identified by the alias David, whom they reported to directly and who was to personally carry out the killing, the minister said.
David, Rodriguez charged, was taking orders from a Colombian who is in prison, Oscar Alcantara Gonzalez, alias "Gancho Mosco", who allegedly works for Uribe.
"We have no doubt that Alvaro Uribe Velez has knowledge of all these things ... And we are not the least bit surprised that he is the one giving orders through operatives," Rodriguez alleged.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who lost the April presidential vote and is contesting the results, shrugged off Monday's alleged plot, saying: "Nobody believes that tall tale."
Rodriguez in June alleged that Maduro was targeted by a separate assassination plot launched from Colombia and the United States.
Venezuela made frequent allegations of assassination plots against the late leftist President Hugo Chavez and has continued to do so under Maduro, his handpicked successor.
Official results gave Maduro, 50, a razor-thin margin of just 1.5 percent over Capriles, 41, in the April 14 election.