Helicopter carrying Colombia's president struck by gunfire near Venezuelan border

A number of armed groups operate along the remote, porous border region

A helicopter carrying Colombia's President Ivan Duque was hit by bullets near the Venezuela border on Friday.

This was the first attack against a Colombian head of state in nearly 20 years.

Mr Duque and fellow passengers were unharmed. Authorities did not say from which side of the border the shots came.

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We are not frightened by violence or acts of terrorism. Our state is strong and Colombia is strong

Colombia regularly accuses Venezuela of harbouring Colombian rebels.

"It is a cowardly attack, where you can see bullet holes in the presidential aircraft," Mr Duque said.

Mr Duque said he was flying with the defence and interior ministers and the governor of the north-eastern Norte de Santander province, which borders Venezuela, when the helicopter was attacked.

Photos released by the president's office showed the tail and main rotor had been hit.

Mr Duque said the aircraft's "safety features" prevented a "lethal" attack.

"I have given very clear instructions to the entire security team to go after those who shot at the aircraft," he said.

The US, EU and UN mission in Colombia all condemned the attack.

The presidential delegation had left the town of Sardinata and was headed to the border city of Cucuta when they came under fire.

Mr Duque had attended an event in the Catatumbo region, one of the main coca-growing areas of the country. Colombia is the world's largest cocaine producer.

Remnants of the disbanded Farc rebel group, an active guerrilla group called the National Liberation Army (ELN), and other armed bands fight drug-trafficking turf wars along the long and porous border with Venezuela.

The two countries broke off relations after Mr Duque, a conservative, came to power in 2018. Venezuela is governed by socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The Duque government has repeatedly accused Venezuela of giving refuge to ELN fighters.

"We are not frightened by violence or acts of terrorism. Our state is strong and Colombia is strong to confront this kind of threat," Mr Duque said after the attack.

This is the latest in a series of violent incidents along the border.

On June 16, a car bomb exploded at a military base in Cucuta, wounding 36 people.

The government blamed the ELN, with which it ended peace negotiations in 2019.

Those talks started after the government concluded a historic peace accord in 2016 with the much bigger Farc, that ended decades of civil war.

The last previous attack against a Colombian president was a bombing that targeted Alvaro Uribe in 2003.

A 20-kilogram bomb hidden in a building near the airport in the south-central city of Neiva exploded before a plane carrying Mr Uribe landed.

The blast killed 15 people and wounded 66. The government blamed the Farc for that attack.

Mr Duque coming to power has coincided with the worst outbreak of violence since the peace accord with the Farc.

The government accuses armed groups financed with drug money of carrying out massacres in isolated coca-producing regions.

With his approval record at rock bottom, Mr Duque is also facing anger in the streets.

Tens of thousands of people voiced their discontent on April 28 against a proposed tax hike that they said would hurt the middle class, already suffering economically from the coronavirus pandemic.

The government withdrew the proposal, but the protests morphed into a broader grassroots movement to air grievances about inequality, education and other woes, amid complaints of heavy-handed police action to put down the marches.

There have been more than 60 deaths in the unrest.

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

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