Colombian president's helicopter hit by gunfire

June 26, 2021 World
Gunfire has hit a helicopter carrying the president of Colombia since it flew near the border with Venezuela.

President Iván Duque was flying toward Cúcuta in the Norte de Santander province, alongside the defence minister, interior minister, and the province's governor.

A spokesman for the presidency said nobody was hurt in the incident.

Mr Duque denounced the "cowardly attack" and said he had not been frightened "by violence or acts of terrorism".

"Our state is strong and Colombia is strong to confront this kind of threat," he said in a video address posted on Twitter. Security forces are under orders to find those responsible, he added.

Local newspaper Semana reports the occupants heard a noise as if something had hit the engine just as the helicopter was to arrive to land.

The leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) operates in the Catatumbo region, which spans the Colombian-Venezuelan border.

Founded in 1964 to fight inequality in land and wealth distribution, the ELN may be the country's most significant rebel group and is known as a terrorist organization by Colombia, the US and europe.

Earlier this month the ELN denied any involvement in an automobile bomb attack on a military base in Cúcuta. The attack injured 36 people, including two US military advisers.
Source: Dailyasianage - World News

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