Spanish cyclist disputes claim that 6 levies men died protecting him in Balochistan

Published: January 31, 2014

The levies vehicle which was allegedly escorting Colorado over the Mastung highway when it was attacked. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

NEW DELHI: Spanish cyclist Federico Javier Colorado Soriano, who narrowly escaped an attack in Mastung, and survived another grenade attack just 12 hours later in the troubled district of Balochistan, has disputed the claim that six levies personnel had died protecting him, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported on Thursday.

Colorado, who spoke to La Vanguardia in the safety of New Delhi, recalled the harrowing events in Balochistan, where he was not allowed to cycle. He told the paper that he was waiting at a check post just 300 meters behind a bus carrying pilgrims, which was attacked with a suicide bomb. His camera was recording at the time and somehow he managed to capture the blast on video. The explosion had killed at least 30 pilgrims and left over 50 injured.

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The cyclist said that ever since he crossed the Iran-Pakistan border, he was escorted by various members of the security forces who always transported him in their vehicles. However, he disputed the number of security personnel that he was being escorted by at the time of the attack. “Just after crossing into Pakistan from Iran, I was awarded two escorts, the Balochistan levies.”

Following the bus bomb attack on January 21, he was held in a police station overnight for safety and allowed to travel the following morning. Even after the explosion, Colorado was loaded into a van with only one gunman and a driver, with no following vehicle.

A little after they passed the destroyed bus on the Mastung highway, Colorado’s vehicle came under a bomb and gun attack in which he was injured just above his left temple. Colorado told La Vanguardia that the attack happened barely three minutes after they crossed the bus (visible in his video). He adds that contrary to the official version in which the deaths of six and injuries to three levies personnel is claimed, none of the two men accompanying him were injured, nor did he see anyone else die.

In the video, which he has uploaded on to the internet, Colorado can be seen lying on his stomach on the bed of the pickup truck with his cycle, holding the camera with one arm and his injured head with the other. In the video, an armed levies’ guard can be seen standing over Colorado while a second man, possibly the driver, walks around to the back of the vehicle and inquires whether the Spaniard is ok.

To this Colorado tells the driver in Spanish and broken English to keep going.

Later at the hospital in Quetta, one of the guards accompanying Colorado tells an attendant in Urdu that they had just escaped a blast and that four to five levies personnel had been killed, while at least three others were injured.

La Vanguardia further reports that according to Colorado, he was flown to Lahore where he stayed in his room for 36-hours with two ‘agents’ outside his door.

When he contacted his family in Madrid he read the official statement that he was given. But in New Delhi, he uploaded the video and said that he could no longer keep quiet about what had really happened.

Reader Comments (28)

  • Jan 31, 2014 - 1:27AM

    Why the heck is he in pakistan? He should’ve come in 15 years, hopefully things will change by then

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  • Ahmed
    Jan 31, 2014 - 1:55AM

    Beyond idiotic to visit these parts of Pakistan at this time!

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  • Jan 31, 2014 - 2:00AM

    He has more testicles than Neil Armstrong. (See what I did there?)

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  • ufffff
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:06AM

    I hope this is not true…

    If it is, it seems lying as become our first response…

    How sad…

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  • thruthseeker
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:09AM

    Pakistan, where truth lies

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  • darbullah
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:13AM

    Pakistan and truth? Kabhi nahi.

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  • ufffff
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:13AM

    I just saw he video…

    How awful for this poor chap…

    These are the fruits of mullahism and open free for all border…

    I want Qaid e Azam’s Pakistan back

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  • Jan 31, 2014 - 2:17AM

    Pakistani police making up heroic claims. As if 30 dead pilgrims weren’t enough………… After Aitzaz Hassan’s sacrifice I suppose everything is possible.

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  • sabi
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:20AM

    What to do where to go?.How reliable are media reports on gang raps on the orders of panchayet.

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  • Saleem
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:26AM

    If this story is true then lies are big embarrassment for the country

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  • wow
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:42AM

    how ignorant one has to be to come to Pakistan?

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 31, 2014 - 2:52AM

    In this news, Colorado appears to be complaining. He should be grateful and thankful to the Pakistan security forces for providing him security and transporting him in their truck throughout his journey in Pakistan. Clearly we can see about 6 levies / security personnel at the time of bomb blast. They may not have been with him throughout his journey in Pakistan and some may be guarding the check post. So what if Pakistan claims slightly more. Colorado knew the security situation in Pakistan and even at this time, Pakistan has done the most they can. Had I been Colorado, I will be full of praise for the Pakistani authorities. He should be grateful.

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  • Basit
    Jan 31, 2014 - 3:05AM

    This reflects badly on journalism in Pakistan. No fact checking at all.

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  • hamza khan
    Jan 31, 2014 - 3:29AM

    @Noman Ansari:

    messed upRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 31, 2014 - 3:34AM

    Why would Pakistani Officials lie? The cyclist was injured and hiding in vehicle during gun fight. If this guy had any sense of events, he would not have gone there.
    I salute brave jawans and officers who work there for meagre salaries.

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  • Cool Henry
    Jan 31, 2014 - 4:30AM

    Will some heads roll – heck, even the TV news should be reprimanded…how can they broadcast falsehoods – should they have some verification system?

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  • Jordan
    Jan 31, 2014 - 6:34AM

    Sad to see whats happening around in Pakistan !! But ppl should know the truth version what is happening in Balochistan !!

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  • Awais Khan
    Jan 31, 2014 - 6:43AM

    Wat the fudge was he doing in Pakistan and that too at the most troubled times. Now, he is criticising the security forces and bla bla bla. Such people should not be allowed entry in the first instance.

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  • obvious
    Jan 31, 2014 - 6:48AM

    @ufffff:
    That’s where you are currently living in

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  • Seriously?
    Jan 31, 2014 - 7:29AM

    Pakistani authorities seem to lie reflexively. What was the need to lie about this?

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  • fff
    Jan 31, 2014 - 8:12AM

    So his complaint is that not enough people died to save him?? What an ungrateful person! All those policemen put their lives at risk protecting this sorry individual and he is the one complaining?!!

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  • Bilal
    Jan 31, 2014 - 8:23AM

    OMG!Balochistan is so vast and so beautiful.I would love to go there.

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  • sall90
    Jan 31, 2014 - 8:36AM

    What is he wanting to prove by crying in New Delhi? He must be thankful that he is still alive, and without levies support on this route we wouldn’t be reading this news or knowing about him at all.

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  • Asif
    Jan 31, 2014 - 9:27AM

    So this is how levies & FC exaggerate the number of dead & injured!!

    Secondly just look at the contrasting condition of roads in Iran & Pakistan.

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  • Kamran Ali Shah
    Jan 31, 2014 - 5:37PM

    Wow What a man? Whatq was he doing there at exact moment of blast? Smells fishy… And now lying in New Delhi? We already suspect Indians to be invloved in Baloch troubles and here we have a foreigner visiting one of the most peacful spots in Pakistan on a picnic? And managed to be a exact time in exact place where bomb happens. I hope those two agents did some homework on him before letting him slip to peaceful Delhi. Also if there are people saying in his video that men have died, why would they lie. My uncle worked in Rangers in Balochistan and all his colleagues died except for few who decided to leave it after seeing all the blood. I am seriously concerned that this man needs to answer some questions and right ones.Recommend

  • lkhan
    Feb 1, 2014 - 8:56PM

    @Raj – USA: he is not complaining at all, he thanked his lucky stars he did not die when the bus explosion took place seconds away from him. At the end of his video, he thanks profusely Pakistani security that accompanied him and the hospitality he was shown; the reality of his experience is harrowing, it would be for anyone – indeed a Spaniard has depicted what all those Pakistanis close to an explosion experience – terror, why am I alive when so many died, and other feelings of remorse, sadness, distress…. We should think of all the anonymous peoples over these past few years that have undergone the same, plus loss of loved ones, livelihoods, properties and more. The all await justice. Not negotiations that belittle their rights (justice, law and order), and suffering.Recommend

  • Omair
    Feb 2, 2014 - 4:26AM

    Where in today’s time when no Pakistani has any life security and the levies provided that cyclist security in that disputed region where no average Pakistani can go so he should be thankful rather complaining.

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  • rasgullah
    Feb 2, 2014 - 5:45AM

    He was crazy to have visited Pakistan.

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