Colombian government offers reward for capturing snipers from presidential helicopter – MercoPress

Colombian government offers award for capturing presidential helicopter shooters

Monday, June 28, 2021 – 08:49 UTC

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Duque is willing to pay nearly US $ 795,000 to catch whoever shot his helicopter

The Colombian government has offered a reward of US $ 795,000 in exchange for information leading to the capture of those behind the shooting of President Ivan’s Duque helicopter last week.

“A reward of up to 3,000 million pesos (Colombians) is offered to whoever directs [us] to find those responsible for this terrorist attack, ”said Defense Minister Diego Molano, who was also on board the plane during the incident.

Molano made the announcement via a video message from the city of Cúcuta, where the attack took place.

Police chief General Jorge Vargas said the shots came from an area near the airport from where the presidential plane took off.

“A search team has been deployed … and two rifles have been found ?? : an AK-47 whose registration number is under investigation and another of caliber 7.52 with the mark of the Venezuelan armed forces, ”explained Vargas.

Duque was traveling with his defense and interior ministers as well as the governor of Norte de Santander on the helicopter that left Sardinata for Cúcuta. Images released by the Presidency show several bullet holes in the tail and main propeller. None of the occupants were injured.

The attack was condemned by the UN, the United States, the European Union and several Latin American countries. ??The Secretary General ?? of the United Nations is relieved by the fact that the plane landed without problem and that there were no injuries or deaths, “said spokesman Stéphane Dujarric on Saturday in a statement.

In the afternoon, the Colombian president attended an event in the cocaine-producing region of Catatumbo, where former FARC guerrillas, militants from the National Liberation Army (ELN) and trafficking groups of drugs are fighting for territorial control.

This region, near the Venezuelan border, is constantly under fire. Earlier this month, a car bomb exploded inside a military installation in Cúcuta, injuring 36 people. The government blamed the attack on the ELN, the last recognized guerrilla in the country, but did not rule out that FARC dissidents who excluded themselves from the peace pact signed in 2016 could be responsible.

Duque has repeatedly accused Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of sheltering dissidents and ELN troops on Venezuelan territory.

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