Six policemen killed protecting Spanish cyclist near Quetta

Armed men opened indiscriminate firing and wanted to kidnap the foreigner: official of Mastung Levies.


Reuters/Shezad Baloch January 22, 2014
The second victim was one of the robbers killed by the guard’s firing. PHOTO: FILE

QUETTA: Six personnel of Balochistan Levies personnel were killed and a Spanish cyclist sustained injuries after they were ambushed by a group of armed men in Mastung district, about 45km from Quetta, on Wednesday.

According to Assistant Commissioner Mastung Shafqat Shahwani, a Levies mobile was escorting the Spanish cyclist who was coming from Taftan, town in Chagai district which shares border with Iran, when it was attacked on the national highway in Mastung.

“Armed men opened indiscriminate firing and wanted to kidnap the foreigner,” a local official at Mastung Levies station said.

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

Police said they did not know why he was cycling through such a dangerous area. He was assigned the escort by security forces because Balochistan is plagued by kidnappers, militants, a violent separatist insurgency, sectarian killers, paramilitary death squads and drug traffickers.

Two young Czech women taking the same route by bus were kidnapped in March and are still being held.

"Six of our security men have been killed trying to save the Spanish cyclist, who has suffered minor injuries," said Shafqat Anwar Shawani, the assistant police commissioner for Mastung district. One attacker was also killed, he added.

Six personnel of Levies received multiple bullet wounds on upper torso and died on the spot while the foreigner received a bullet wound. The attackers fled from the scene after retaliation by Levies personnel.

More Levies personnel and security forces reached the spot and started a manhunt in the area.

The Spanish cyclist reached Mastung on Tuesday evening but stopped from proceeding towards Quetta after the suicide attack on Shia pilgrims which left 23 people killed and more than 31 injured.

The cyclist was coming from Iran and wanted to go to Quetta.

COMMENTS (5)

Ashah | 7 years ago | Reply

It amazes me to see the mentality of some of the people whose comments are being published not only it shows the backwardness of this country and thoughts and the thinking of these people these so called foreigners are guests of any country and they should be protected like any other normal citizens and the Levies were right in protecting them !. I remember karachi when I was young and living their used to plenty of foreigners coming and going and it was a fun place to live Look at what has happened to that city and the country as a whole , I refuse to believe that thing will get any better or the country of Pakistan can survive in it's present form My sympathies to the families of the Levies who died protecting an innocent man . But it was their jobs to do so. As it it the Job of the Government of Baluchistan to provide secuirity to ever one in the province and get rid of this malaise !

Raj - USA | 7 years ago | Reply

@Lala Gee: I agree with you on this. The least Spain should do is to offer employment and permanent residency in Spain to one of the family members of each soldier.

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