09:56 GMT26 November 2020
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    Attempted Attack on Venezuelan President Maduro (15)

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had a brush with death Saturday after being targeted by explosive drones while giving a speech in Caracas. The video of the attack has gone viral. In light of the close call, Sputnik put together a list of other failed attacks against world leaders from the last decade, some of them more disturbing than others.

    Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro

    Dramatic footage of the attempt on Maduro's life showed the President's speech interrupted by explosions somewhere off-camera, with bodyguards and military officials nearby quickly rushing to form what he would soon dub a "shield of love." The suspected drone attack left seven people injured, but no fatalities. Maduro blamed Venezuela's right, Colombia and Florida-based financiers for the attempt on his life.

    Zimbabwe: Emmerson Mnangagwa

    In June 2018, shortly after addressing a crowd in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who became Zimbabwe's president in late 2017, following long-time leader Robert Mugabe, faced a close call after a grenade exploded near where he was walking. The president managed to escape unharmed, but several members of his entourage, including two vice presidents, were injured. Two security personnel were killed by the blast.

    Warning: Viewer discretion is advised for the video below.

    United States: Donald Trump

    During the 2016 presidential election, real estate mogul-turned presidential candidate Donald Trump faced multiple threats. In June 2016, during a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, 20-year-old UK national Michael Steven Sandford attempted to grab an officer's sidearm to shoot and kill Trump. With police instantly responding and taking Sandford into custody, Trump appeared almost completely unfazed by the incident, telling the crowd "We love our police!" as the would-be assassin was grabbed and taken away. "Thank you, thank you officers!" Trump said before continuing his speech as planned. The attack was the only life-threatening incident during the campaign, with Sandford deported to the UK in May 2017 after serving less than a year in jail.

    Two other close calls occurred during the campaign, one in March 2016 in Ohio when a man tried to rush the stage Trump was speaking at. Momentarily fazed, Trump thanked the crowd for warning him, and joked "I was ready for it, but it's much easier if the cops do it." before continuing his speech.

    Finally, on November 5, 2016, just days before the election, Trump was rushed off the stage in Reno, Nevada after someone on the crowd yelled 'Gun!' After returning, Trump told supporters that "Nobody said it was going to be easy for us, but we will never be stopped, never ever be stopped." The gun scare proved to be false.

    Germany: Mario Draghi

    In April 2015, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi had a nonlethal but nevertheless unpleasant encounter with a woman protester who jumped up on the table he was sitting at and began throwing paper and confetti at him while shouting 'End the ECB dictatorship' at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany before being led away by security personnel.

    Germany: Vladimir Putin

    The Russian president faced a similar encounter in April 2013 in Hannover, Germany when a bare-chested member of Femen rushed him, calling him a "dictator," with a second woman also attempting to rush him moments later. While taken aback, Putin seemed more amused than anything and could be seen smiling behind Russian and German bodyguards.

    Bulgaria: Ahmed Dogan

    In January 2013, Bulgarian Turk politician Ahmed Dogan shot to international fame after a gunman rushed onto the stage where he was speaking aand pointed a gun straight at his head. Briefly nonplussed, the politician counterattacked, striking his assailant in the arm and briefly grappling with him before bodyguards came in to assist. It was later revealed that the gun was a gas pistol with blank cartridges. The attacker, another Bulgarian Turk, received three and a half months in jail for the crime. 

    France: Nicolas Sarkozy

    In June 2011, French President Nicholas Sarkozy had a close encounter with a man in southern France during a walkabout. Grabbed by the shoulder and nearly knocked to the ground before pulling away, Sarkozy looked on as security men tackled his assailant. Sarkozy did not file a complaint against the man, who ended up doing two days of community service for the attack.

    Italy: Silvio Berlusconi

    In December 2009, during a rally in Milan, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was struck in the face by an object thrown by someone in the crowd; he suffered a broken nose and injuries to his teeth. Remaining defiant, Berlusconi got out of his car and peered into the crowd to try to spot his attacker before getting back in and being driven away.

    Iraq: George W. Bush

    In late 2008, outgoing US President George W. Bush dodged a shoe attack by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a press conference with Iraq's Prime Minister. During the shoeing, al-Zaidi shouted obscenities at Bush, calling him a "dog," and saying "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people." "This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq," he shouted as he threw the second shoe. A-Zaidi was severely beaten by security officers, and served nine months in prison, during which time he was tortured, before being released in September 2009. The journalist's act of defiance was quickly turned into a meme online.

    Georgia: Mikheil Saakashvili

    Last but not least is an incident involving Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. While it doesn't really qualify as a political attack, since it remains unclear whether the Russian jet Saakashvili claimed prompted him to run for cover during a visit to Gori in August 2008 actually existed, the incident did receive broad Western media coverage as a possible assassination attempt. The dramatic video footage was shot during the August 2008 conflict in South Ossetia, a five-day war which started after Saakashvili launched an attack against one of Georgia's breakaway provinces, killing Russian peacekeepers in the process and sparking a Russian military response.

    Attempted Attack on Venezuelan President Maduro (15)


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    assassination plot, attack, Ahmed Dogan, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Nicolas Maduro, George W. Bush, Mario Draghi, Nicolas Sarkozy, Silvio Berlusconi, Mikheil Saakashvili, world
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