Six police officials escorting Spanish cyclist killed as violence surges in Pakistan

ABDUL SATTAR And RIAZ KHAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BALUCHISTAN

Abdul Malik Baluch, center, Chief Minister of Baluchistan province talks with an injured officer escorting a Spanish cyclist, at a military hospital in Quetta

QUETTA, Pakistan — Gunmen opened fire on Pakistani police escorting a Spanish cyclist through a volatile province bordering Iran on Wednesday, killing six officers and wounding the Spaniard, said officials.

The attack on the cyclist, who had just arrived from Iran and whose blog said he was trying to cycle around the world, came one day after militants in the same region killed 28 people in a bus convoy of Shiite Muslim pilgrims. One police officer said authorities suspected the same group carried out both attacks.

The Spanish cyclist had arrived in the town of Dalbandin, about 350 kilometres (220 miles) from Quetta, provincial capital of Baluchistan, on Tuesday evening after biking from the Iranian border, said the provincial Home Secretary, Asadur Rehman Gilani.

Local authorities asked him to stay overnight out of concern for his safety and then arranged a police escort of more than a dozen officers to take him to Quetta on Wednesday morning, Gilani said.

When they were in the Mastung district, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Quetta, gunmen opened fire.

Six policemen were killed, while the cyclist and another nine police officers were wounded, according to a police official Mohammed Ibrahim.

The Spanish embassy in Islamabad did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The Home Secretary identified the Spaniard as Colorado Solana while the Spanish media identified him as Javier Colorado. A blog written by the Spaniard said he was cycling around the world and that he had been the victim of an attack in Pakistan.

Tourists have been targeted in Baluchistan before. Gunmen last March kidnapped two female Czech tourists and their police guard as they were travelling on a bus from Iran to Quetta. The captives were taken to Afghanistan and the officer released but the women are still being held.

No one claimed responsibility for the shooting Wednesday, but Ibrahim said he suspected the same group that targeted a group of Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran on Tuesday was responsible for the Wednesday incident as well.

He described the group as “sectarian.” Radical Sunni Islamic militants who view Shiites as heretics have stepped up attacks against members of the minority Shiite Muslim sect in recent years. Over 400 Shiites were killed in 2013, according to Human Rights Watch. Violence has been especially bad in impoverished Baluchistan.

Police initially said 20 people died when a bomb exploded near the pilgrims’ bus, but on Wednesday, a local police official, Asad Cheema, said the death toll had risen to 28. Some of the wounded were still listed in critical condition.

Shiite Muslims rallied Wednesday in Quetta, demanding action to stop the continued violence against their sect. In a show of protest, they brought the coffins carrying the dead pilgrims into the street.

“We will not bury our dear ones until the government acts against the attackers,” local Shiite leader Agha Dawood said.

Militants also struck in the country’s northwest. A bomb rigged to a bicycle exploded next to a police patrol on its way to guard a polio vaccination team. Six officers were killed as well as a boy who was nearby, said officer Shafiullah Khan.

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »

crime-sexually touching minor

West Vancouver police looking for woman who yelled at man accused of inappropriately touching minor girl on bus

THE CANADIAN PRESS Police in West Vancouver are investigating a disturbing incident involving a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl on a bus….
Continue Reading »

Canada-Edmonton-stolen

Canada balks at returning Indian statue of a woman believed stolen from Khajuraho temple

DOUGLAS QUAN POSTMEDIA NEWS  India is trying to repatriate a “voluptuous” 12th-century statue of a woman with a parrot on her bare shoulder that somehow…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »

crime-sexually touching minor

West Vancouver police looking for woman who yelled at man accused of inappropriately touching minor girl on bus

THE CANADIAN PRESS Police in West Vancouver are investigating a disturbing incident involving a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl on a bus….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

A hangman's gallows sits idle at the Benghazi Central Prison on March 1, 2011 on the outskirts of Benghazi, Libya. Inmates broke free of the prison during the uprising a week ago in the city. John Moore/Getty Images

Indian state offers fat pay raise in attempt to attract applicants to jail hangman job

RAMESH BABU HINDUSTAN TIMES The Indian state of Kerala is offering a pay raise worth thousands of dollars in an attempt to attract more men…
Continue Reading »

An Indian woman herds her cattle past an almost dried-up water body on the outskirts of Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Delayed monsoon rains have raised fears of possible drought in some regions with the meteorological department reporting an acute deficit in rainfall in many areas, according to news reports. AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Armed bandits demand north Indian villagers deliver 35 buckets of water a day during drought

BISWAJEET BANERJEE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LUCKNOW, India — Armed bandits in drought-stricken northern India are threatening to kill hundreds of villagers unless they deliver 35…
Continue Reading »

Narinder Kaur Kalsi, who has been on life support, since a domestic dispute at her Surrey home last week has died. Kalsi was pronounced dead just before 4:30 p.m. Sunday, said police. Her husband Beldev Singh Kalsi was arrested and charged in connection to her death. — Facebook Photo.

Surrey temple president charged with murder as wife dies in hospital after alleged domestic assault

CHERYL CHAN  VANCOUVER DESI The charge against a former Surrey temple president has again been upgraded after his wife, who suffered severe injuries in an…
Continue Reading »

Sikh American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia is featured in a Sikh American PSA. Screengrab/YouTube.

U.S. organization launches first-ever Sikh American PSA featuring Waris Ahluwalia to combat racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI An American Sikh organization has created the first-ever Sikh American public service announcement in an effort to combat an ongoing “anti-turban bias” across…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Mary Kom’ to have world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival

IANS Toronto – Priyanka Chopra-starrer “Mary Kom”, based on boxer M.C Mary Kom, will have its world premiere here at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF),…
Continue Reading »

Nargis Fakhri

Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri bruised, battered after shooting for “Devil” item number

SUBHASH K JHA IANS Mumbai – “Rockstar” fame actress Nargis Fakhri may be in bed resting it out after sustaining injuries while shooting her “devil”…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan speaks during an appearance on a television show in Mumbai  June 5, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Shah Rukh Khan’s one-year-old baby AbRam likes Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball

IANS Mumbai – Usually parents are cautious about their teenage children, but superstar Shah Rukh Khan is wary of his one-year-old son AbRam, who was…
Continue Reading »