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PAKISTAN

Six Pakistini police killed escorting Spanish tourist

A Spanish tourist cycling through Pakistan received only light injuries during an ambush on Wednesday which resulted in the death of at least six of his local bodyguards. The cyclist now plans to continue his journey.

Six Pakistini police killed escorting Spanish tourist
Spanish tourist Javier Colorado left Madrid in October 1st and is currently on a two-year 'solo' journey around the world. Photo: YouTube

The ambush happened while 27-year-old Javier Colorado was cycling through the highly volatile southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said.

The cyclist from Madrid and his escort of local tribal police were ambushed in Mastung district, some 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of the provincial capital Quetta.

Baluchistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is one of Pakistan's most unstable provinces, rife with separatist and Islamist militants and plagued by sectarian bloodshed.

Kidnappings for ransom are common in parts of the province and Western hostages could be expected to fetch a high price.

"The local tribal police officials were escorting the Spanish cyclist after he entered Pakistan from Iran when gunmen attacked him," a senior local administration official, Shafqat Sehwani, told news agency AFP.

Six police officers were killed and five wounded in an exchange of fire, he said, adding that Colorado suffered only minor injuries.

A senior local administration official, Akbar Baluch, confirmed the incident in which one of the attackers was also killed.

Colorado left Madrid in October 1st and is currently on a two-year 'solo' journey around the world.

Despite the attack in Pakistan, the Spaniard — a regular marathon runner — plans to continue his trip by flying to Lahore near the Indian border, family was reported as saying in Spain's El Mundo newspaper on Wednesday. 

Wednesday's attack took place near the scene of a bomb attack on a bus that killed 24 Shiite pilgrims who were returning from Iran on Tuesday.

Separately, police on Tuesday evening found the body of a Shiite Muslim close to the Iran border two days after he was abducted, the top local administration's official doctor Akbar Harifal told news agency AFP.

Baluchistan has been badly hit by a decade-long Baluch separatist insurgency and sectarian violence, mainly targeting Shiite Muslims from the Hazara ethnic community.

Two huge bomb attacks targeting Shiite Hazaras in Quetta in January and February last year killed nearly 200 people.

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ACCIDENT

German cyclists injured in Spanish accident

Six cyclists from German cycling team Giant-Alpecin were injured in a training accident when an English driver crashed into them in Benigembla near Alicante on Saturday.

German cyclists injured in Spanish accident
Team Giant Alpecin rider John Degenkolb of Germany was one of the cyclists injured. Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

John Degenkolb, Warren Barguil, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Max Walscheid were all taken to hospital in Alicante and are said to be in a stable condition.

“During the training ride, a car coming the other direction rode into the group of riders head on. The riders were riding side by side on their own side of the road,” Giant-Alpecin said in a statement.

The English female driver of the car was on the wrong side of the road when the accident occurred according to the emergency services.

“Everyone on the team is in shock right now, and there are some major issues that we need to take care of, but we also realise that we have had some luck on our side,” said team physician Anko Boelens.

“Everyone is conscious, stable and approachable, but we are waiting for the latest information and consult the doctors in those hospitals about the treatments needed for the riders.”

One of the riders was reported as seriously injured, but his condition is not life threatening.

“The cyclist has functional injuries of a severe nature, but in principle they don't implicate any risk to life,” said a hospital source.

In 2012 Spanish cyclist Victor Cabedo was killed after being run over on a training run in Almedijar near Valencia.