Ecuadorian military helicopter allegedly attacked on Colombian border

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-4 11:34:00

An Ecuadorian military helicopter allegedly came under fire from the Colombian side of the border during a reconnaissance flight over Ecuador's northwest province of Esmeraldas, the Ecuadorian Armed Forces Joint Command said Thursday in a statement.

The military said the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon in an area known as "El Pan," in Esmeraldas' canton of San Lorenzo.

The attack occurred as army personnel aboard an MI-171 helicopter "were carrying out a military reconnaissance operation of national territory and distributing information about the 1-800 ALERTA border security program," said the military.

The aircraft "was hit several times, presumably from the Colombian side" and "as a result of the attack, army lance corporal Edwin Leon Bravo was shot in the left thigh," it added.

The wounded soldier is at a hospital in Esmeraldas, where he is recovering well, the military said, adding "The Armed Forces will continue their mission to safeguard territorial sovereignty."

In August, Ecuadorian troops countered an armed attack by a Colombian paramilitary group in Puerto Mestanza, in the northeast province of Sucumbios, along the border with the Colombian department of Putumayo.

According to the Ecuadorian Armed Forces, the incident occurred during a reconnaissance operation and six people were killed, including an Ecuadorian lieutenant and five Colombians. Another Ecuadorian was injured.

Such incidents occur frequently along Ecuador's northern border, where more than 10,000 troops guard the Ecuadorian side.

Posted in: Americas

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