Venezuela military chopper crash kills seven officers

By Agence France-Presse

Seven Venezuelan military officers were killed Saturday when their helicopter crashed outside Caracas, President Nicolas Maduro said.

The chopper had left the Venezuelan capital in the morning headed for San Carlos in the country’s northwest when it went down in a mountainous area of the El Hatillo municipality, the defense ministry said in a statement.

On Twitter, Maduro mourned the loss of “seven worthy officers of the country.”

They included two majors, three captains, and two lieutenant colonels.

The defense ministry was launching an investigation into the crash.

Maduro was in San Carlos on Saturday, leading military exercises with top brass and more than 5,000 troops.

It was a show of strength against opposition leader Juan Guaido, whose attempt to launch a military uprising earlier in the week had failed.

Guaido was continuing his efforts to persuade the armed forces to abandon Maduro.