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Six Pakistani police killed in ambush protecting Spanish cyclist

By Anne Sewell     Jan 22, 2014 in World
Quetta - A Spanish tourist was lucky to escape with minor injuries when cycling through the highly volatile southwestern province of Baluchistan in Pakistan on Wednesday. Six police bodyguards were shot dead while protecting him and five others injured.
The Spanish cyclist was traveling with his bodyguards, consisting of local tribal police, in the Mastung district, around 55 kilometers (35 miles) west of the provincial capital Quetta, when the ambush happened.
The region borders on Iran and Afghanistan and is possibly Pakistan’s most unstable area, with many Islamist and separatist militants active, causing much sectarian bloodshed. It is not uncommon for Western hostages to be kidnapped for ransom in the area, as they would fetch a high price.
A senior local administration official, Shafqat Sehwani, told AFP, “The local tribal police officials were escorting the Spanish cyclist after he entered Pakistan from Iran when gunmen attacked him.”
He added that six police officers were killed and five were wounded in the exchange of fire, but that the unnamed Spanish cyclist was fortunate to only suffer minor injuries.
The incident was confirmed by the senior local administration official, Akbar Baluch, who said that one of the attackers was also killed in the incident.
Another example of a hostage-taking situation in Baluchistan was the kidnapping in March 2013 of two Czech women. A video was posted asking their government to pay for their release, but the women are still missing.
This latest incident with the Spanish tourist occurred near the scene of a bomb attack on a bus on Tuesday this week, which killed 24 Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran.
Possibly this is not the best location for a cycling holiday, as the extremely lucky Spanish tourist has now discovered.
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