Colombia President Iván Duque’s chopper hit by gunfire

Colombia President Iván Duque's chopper hit by gunfire

A chopper carrying Colombia’s president was struck by gunfire, as it hovered near the Venezuelan border.

President Iván Duque was travelling to Ccuta, in the province of Norte de Santander, with the defense minister, the interior minister, and the governor of the province.

According to a presidential spokesperson, no one was hurt in the event.

Mr. Duque condemned the “cowardly attack” and said that he is unafraid of “violence or acts of terrorism.”

In a video message broadcast on Twitter, he added, “Our state is strong and Colombia is strong to confront this kind of threat,
He said that security personnel have been given instructions to locate the perpetrators.

A picture from a handout shows the president’s chopper after it was damaged by gunfire.

The passengers heard a bang as if something had struck the engine just as the helicopter was coming in to land, according to the local daily Semana.

In the Catatumbo area, which straddles the Colombian-Venezuelan border, the Marxist National Liberation Army (ELN) operates.

The ELN, which was founded in 1964 to combat land and wealth inequality, is Colombia’s biggest rebel group and is designated a terrorist organization by Colombia, the United States, and the European Union.

The ELN denied participation in a vehicle bomb assault on a military installation in Ccuta earlier this month. 36 individuals were wounded in the assault, including two US military advisors.

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