"I had information several days ago that they were preparing an assassination attempt," Morales told journalists in Venezuela's seaside city of Cumana, where he is attending a summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Nations of Our America. "Yesterday, I gave the vice president and the commander of the national police instructions to stage an operation and detain those mercenaries."
Police confiscated explosives, high-caliber weapons and plans to follow the president's motorcade, Police Commander Victor Hugo Escobar said in a news conference.
They included C-4 explosives "that don't exist in Bolivia," Vice President Alvaro Garcia said.
Escobar said that among those killed were Hungarians, while Garcia said in a statement that the band was composed of Croatians, Irish and Bolivian "far right."
Among the seized weapons in the 4 a.m. raid were rifles with telescopic sights. Documents were seized "pertaining not only to past events but future attacks against the highest authorities of the national government," Garcia said.
Police are searching for other suspects. "There are other cells," Garcia said.