Helicopter carrying Colombia’s president attacked; all safe


BUCARAMANGA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian President Iván Duque stated Friday {that a} helicopter carrying him and several other senior officers got here underneath hearth within the southern Catatumbo area bordering Venezuela, in a uncommon occasion of a direct assault on a presidential plane.

Duque stated everybody on board the helicopter was protected, together with himself, Protection Minister Diego Molano, Inside Minister Daniel Palacios and the governor of Norte de Santander state, Silvano Serrano. That they had simply attended an occasion titled “Peace with Legality, the Sustainable Catatumbo chapter.”

“I need to inform the nation that after fulfilling a dedication in Sardinata, in Catatumbo approaching the town of Cúcuta, the presidential helicopter was the sufferer of an assault,” the president stated in an announcement.

He stated the helicopter’s tools and capabilities “prevented one thing deadly from occurring.” A video launched by the presidency confirmed a number of bullet holes within the Colombian air power helicopter.

Duque didn’t present the time of the assault or say who he believed carried it out, however a number of armed teams are identified to function within the space.

The president stated the “cowardly” assault wouldn’t make him cease preventing drug trafficking, terrorism and arranged crime. “The message is that Colombia is at all times sturdy within the face of crime and our establishments are above any menace,” he stated.

Cúcuta, the place the flight was headed, was already on a safety alert after a June 14 automotive bomb assault at a army base that prompted 36 accidents to each members of the army and civilians. Colombian authorities haven’t confirmed who was behind that assault, however have stated they think dissidents from the now-defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrillas or the insurgent Nationwide Liberation Military. The latter has denied being behind the assault.

In 2018, when the conservative Duque started his presidency, the federal government stated it was investigating “doable assaults” being deliberate in opposition to the president at a public occasion. The assaults by no means materialized.



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