In an incident, a helicopter carrying Colombia’s President Duque was hit by gunfire.

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Colombian President Ivan Duque and others were on a helicopter when it was hit by several gunshots in an attack on Friday, he said in a video message.

According to Duque, the incident occurred when the president’s helicopter was flying through Colombia’s Catatumbo area towards the city of Cucuta, the seat of the country’s Norte de Santander department.

“What’s clear is that this is a cowardly attack where bullet holes can be seen in the presidential aircraft,” Duque said.

As well as Duque, the helicopter was carrying other officials including Defense Minister Diego Molano, Interior Minister Daniel Palacios, and governor of Norte de Santander Silvano Serrano.

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

The president said that security officers have been given specific instructions to locate individuals responsible for the chopper attack.

The problematic Catatumbo area, located on Colombia’s border with Venezuela, is home to vast coca plantations, which are the main component in cocaine. It is home to Marxist National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, former FARC combatants who rejected a 2016 peace accord with the government, and armed criminal gangs engaging in drug trafficking.

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This month a car bomb was detonated at a military base used by the 30th Army Brigade in Cucuta, injuring Colombian troops and U.S. military advisers.

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


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