Helicopter carrying Colombian President Ivan Duque shot at in ‘cowardly’ attack, leaving bullet holes in fuselage

Colombian President Ivan Duque said a helicopter carrying him and several officials was shot at in a “cowardly” attack.

Mr Duque said the presidential helicopter was the “victim of an attack” which took place in the southern Catatumbo region bordering Venezuela.

A video released by the presidency showed several bullet holes in the Colombian air force helicopter.

The right-wing leader said everyone on board the aircraft was safe, including himself and the nation’s defence minister and interior minister.

The group had were returning from an event titled Peace with Legality, the Sustainable Catatumbo chapter before the incident.

“I want to inform the country that after fulfilling a commitment in Sardinata, in Catatumbo approaching the city of Cucuta, the presidential helicopter was the victim of an attack,” the president said in a statement.

He said the helicopter’s equipment and capabilities “prevented something lethal from happening”.

Mr Duque did not provide the time of the incident or say who he believed carried it out, but several armed groups are known to operate in the area.

The president said the “cowardly” attack would not make him stop fighting drug trafficking, terrorism and organised crime.

“The message is that Colombia is always strong in the face of crime and our institutions are above any threat,” he added.

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