Spanish round-the-world cyclist's convoy attacked in Pakistan

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Originally published on January 23, 2014

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Six Pakistani police officers in the volatile western province of Baluchistan were killed on Wednesday (January 22) as they escorted Spanish cyclist Javier Colorado through the region.

Javier Colorado, a Spanish cyclist attempting a round-the-world trek, crossed the border from Iran into Pakistan on Tuesday evening. Pakistani authorities urged the Spaniard — for his own safety — to spend the night at a local police station.

The next morning, 12 Pakistani officers escorted the cyclist in two police vehicles escort as he continued his ride towards the capital. Roughly 50 kilometres from the provincial capital Quetta, the convoy was ambushed.

The unknown gunman shot dead six police officers and wounded six others. The cyclist was only slightly hurt after he fell off his bike.

Javier Colorado's family said on his Facebook page that he plans to continue his round-the-world quest, posting this message several hours after the attack: "This is a message from Javier Colorado's family. In the first place we want to thank the Spanish consulate in Pakistan for all their help. We've received a call from the embassy and they have informed us that Javier is well and not hurt. Today he will fly to Lahore, on the border with India. His initial intent is to continue his trip."

Questions are, however, being raised as to why authorities allowed him to ride though violence-plagued Balochistan.

Reuters reports that the Spanish Foreign Ministry has reached out to Pakistan over the death of Colorado's Pakistani guards. The Spanish government statement said, "The government of Spain wants to transmit to Pakistani authorities its profound concern and grief."

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