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Venezuela sees coup plot after arrests

world Updated: May 10, 2009 08:07 IST

Venezuela has claimed that three Dominicans and one Frenchman arrested by police on Friday may have been plotting to overthrow president Hugo Chavez.

The four were arrested as police seized arms and explosives including sniper rifles, grenades, machine guns and half a kilo of C4.

"There is a sector of the irrational opposition in this country that still cherish the idea of spoiling the revolutionary process," Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami said.

The Frenchman, named as Laurent Frederic Bocquet, was arrested in airport on Margarita Island, in the north east of the country, while trying to flee the country.

El Aissami said the Frenchman, apparently the leader of the group, had "military training in addition to being a sharpshooter.