Venezuela coup 'action hero' Oscar Pérez is captured by Maduro forces


According to the Ministry of Justice, authorities returned fire against the insurgents after they broke negotiations, shooting at police and attempting to detonate a auto bomb on the ground below, ultimately killing two officers and wounding five more. Many within Venezuela have cast doubt on the legitimacy of his attacks, seeing them as a potential ruse to support President Nicolas Maduro's assertion that the nation is regularly assaulted by opposition conspirators, though some friends have spoken in his defence. "We're going to turn ourselves in!" he yelled, as shooting continued.

Mr Perez appeared with a bloody face in almost a dozen dramatic Instagram videos on Monday, claiming he was surrounded by authorities shooting at him with grenade launchers.

On June 28, 2017, a group of security force officers headed by Perez hijacked a helicopter and assailed the Venezuelan Supreme Court in Caracas, opening fire and dropping several hand grenades, and also attacking the nearby Justice Ministry.

Some critics of Maduro have questioned whether his attacks were staged in cahoots with the government to justify a further crackdown on the opposition. "There are civilians here, women and children", he shouts, as gunfire is heard in the background.

He urged Venezuelans "not to lose heart".

His last video was posted about 10:30am local time.

AFP journalists trying to reach the area saw an army tank, special forces and ambulances rush to the scene.

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The information ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

"What a coward now that he has been caught like a rat".

'Where is the courage he had to attack military units, kill and injure officials and steal weapons?' The helicopter circled around the country's Supreme Court building, firing shots before throwing grenades, according to officials.

Mr Perez claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was to fight what he said was a tyrannical government. The country was rocked by violent protests past year in response to a deepening economic crisis and the government's crackdown on democracy.

Perez, 36, posted video clips of himself hunkered down inside a building.

They smash photos of Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, handcuff around a dozen soldiers and berate them for supporting "dictatorship" in Venezuela.

"We will die standing up defending our land, never kneeling before the tyrants", another of Perez's messages said.