Soldiers stop a vehicle, whose passengers kneel on the ground outside the auto, as they detain the two passengers who were circulating on the Paramacay military base in Valencia, Venezuela, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017.
Around 20 men led by an army officer who had deserted battled troops in the base in the third city of Valencia for three hours early on Sunday, officials said.
Following a recent vote decreed by Maduro and condemned internationally as a power grab, the Venezuelan government established a 545-member constituent assembly, which is officially tasked with rewriting the country's constitution.
Twenty men entered the base, catching soldiers on night watch by surprise, Maduro said.
Jesús Suárez Chourio, Commander of Venezuela's Army said in a video from the base, "we found a paramilitary group who took advantage of the current situation and assaulted us". A military uprising, while it would no doubt be somewhat bloody and leading to unpredictable results, may be the best (if not only) remaining option for removing Maduro and restoring some sense of order to Venezuela.
Appearing Sunday in a YouTube video with about a dozen men in camouflage uniforms, some armed with automatic weapons, Caguaripano declared: "This is not a coup d'etat". However, during the attack the men released a video claiming they were soldiers from the 41st Brigade of Fort Paramacay.
The move appeared to signal a unsafe new phase in Venezuela's break with democracy, reinforcing fears about Maduro using the new National Constituent Assembly (ANC), to rubber-stamp a fresh campaign against opponents.
"Today we had to defeat terrorism with bullets", Maduro said. Other protests also emerged around Valencia into the afternoon.
More than 120 people have been reported killed in four months of unrest that has been fueled by anger at the socialist government over food shortages, soaring inflation and high crime. She also questioned why Cabello - one of Maduro's closest allies - rather than the Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino provided details of the incident.
The leader of the alleged coup attempt in Valencia was identified as Juan Carlos Caguaripano, a former captain in the national guard who was cashiered in 2014 after making public declarations against the government.
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Freddy Guevara told lawmakers at the opposition-controlled National Assembly Monday that the attack is "a path that worries us all".
Venezuelans view the armed forces as the key power broker in their country, and opposition leaders have repeatedly exhorted the military to break with Maduro over what they call his erosion of democracy and brutality towards demonstrators.
As the opposition did not field any candidates, the constituent assembly is dominated by government loyalists who showed their allegiance by waving pictures of former President Hugo Chávez at their inauguration.
Like Sunday's uprising, most manifestations of dissent among troops have been small and isolated thus far.
"It's still very hard to know to what extent there are significant divisions within the military", Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue said recently.
The Opposition has vowed to maintain street protests against the assembly.
Ms Ortega, however, has refused to recognise the decision by the constituent assembly, which she says is illegal, and insists she continues to be Venezuela's chief prosecutor.
The opposition, which controls Congress, boycotted the election for the new body, saying the rules had been rigged.
President Maduro claims the new constituent assembly is meant to bring calm to a country that has seen months of violent unrest.