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The Colombian presidential helicopter that was hit by gunfire on June 25, 2021. The Colombian presidential helicopter that was hit by gunfire on June 25, 2021.  (AFP or licensors)

Colombian President escapes assassination attempt

Colombia`s President has narrowly averted assassination, after the helicopter in which he and three others were flying was fired upon.

By James Blears

Colombian President Ivan Duque, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior and a Regional Governor, were being flown in a helicopter to the City of Cucuta in the Province of Santander Norte, when their helicopter came under heavy and sustained groundfire from rebel gunman, armed with high calibre rifles. The helicopter was hit several times, but the bullets missed their intended target of the rotor blades.  No one was wounded or injured. The airspace is close to the border with Venezuela. Below lies a remote area where the National Liberation Army, better known as the ELN, operates. No peace agreement between them and the Colombian Government has been finalized, unlike it was in 2016, with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- the FARC. 

President Duque has condemned the attack as cowardly. He`s vowing to use the Army to hunt down the gunmen and bring them to justice.  The ELN was formed in 1964, the same year as the FARC. Its three thousand guerrillas are condemned as terrorists by both the United States and the European Union. They`re involved in shootings, bombings and kidnappings.

26 June 2021, 15:52