Helicopter carrying Colombian President Duque hit by bullets in bombing

BOGOTA, June 25 (Reuters) – A helicopter carrying Colombian President Ivan Duque and others was hit by multiple bullets in an attack on Friday, he said in a video message.

The incident occurred as the president’s helicopter flew over the Colombian region of Catatumbo towards the city of Cucuta, capital of the province of Norte de Santander, Duque said.

“What is clear is that this is a loose attack where bullet holes can be seen in the presidential plane,” Duque said.

In addition to Duque, the helicopter was carrying other officials, including Defense Minister Diego Molano, Interior Minister Daniel Palacios and Norte de Santander Governor Silvano Serrano.

The mark of a projectile impact is visible on a helicopter in which Colombian President Ivan Duque was in, after suffering an attack during an overflight, according to the authorities, in Cucuta, Colombia, on June 25, 2021. Presidency from Colombia / Document via REUTERS

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No one was injured in the incident, a spokesperson for the presidency said.

Security personnel have been given clear instructions to find those responsible for the attack on the helicopter, the president added.

The troubled region of Catatumbo, on Colombia’s border with Venezuela, is home to extensive crops of coca, the main ingredient in cocaine. This is where the guerrillas of the Left National Liberation Army (ELN) operate, former FARC combatants who reject a 2016 peace agreement with the government, as well as armed criminal groups involved in trafficking. drug.

This month, a car bomb exploded at a military base used by the Army’s 30th Brigade in Cucuta, injuring Colombian soldiers and US military advisers. Read more

While Molano said the attack could have been carried out by the ELN, the rebel group said it denied playing any role in the bombing. Read more

Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by David Gregorio

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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