Seven military personnel killed in Venezuela helicopter crash

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A Venezuelan military helicopter has crashed, killing all seven people on board. The deceased include three captains, two majors and two lieutenant-colonels.

The Cougar Siglas helicopter was flying from Caracas to San Carlos, in the state of Cojedes. The helicopter crashed shortly after leaving the Venezuelan capital in a wooded area of the Caracas municipality of El Hatillo.

Nicolás Maduro has expressed his condolences to the relatives and friends of the “worthy officers of the country” who have lost their lives in the incident.

On Saturday Maduro was overseeing training exercises in El Pao, Cojedes state. He accused Washington and supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido of conspiracy “to weaken, divide and destroy the Bolivarian Armed Forces from within” with lots of money. He urged the soldiers to say no to traitors.

Guaido called for the ouster of Maduro last Tuesday, claiming that the military was on his side, but that attempt failed after two days of protests as the army remained predominantly faithful to the elected president.

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