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Spanish Cyclist's Convoy Attacked in Western Pakistan

Pakistani officials have told VOA that gunmen opened fire Wednesday on a convoy escorting a Spanish cyclist to Quetta, killing six border security officers.

The cyclist, identified by Spanish media as Javier Colorado, was cycling around the world and had entered the volatile Baluchistan province from Iran. Officials say the cyclist and several officers were wounded in Wednesday's attack.

The assault took place near the site of a Tuesday bus bombing 60 kilometers west of Quetta that killed at least 28 people, including women and children. The bus was full of Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims returning from a trip to Iran.

The minority Hazara community is refusing to bury the victims until those responsible for the attack are arrested. The outlawed Sunni militant group Laskar-i-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility.

Meanwhile, officials say a bombing targeting a security team on its way to a polio vaccination project killed at least seven people in northern Pakistan. The dead in Charsadda district included six police officers and a child.



Pakistani militants oppose the polio immunization campaign because they claim it is used to gather intelligence on their locations. Some Islamist groups also claim the vaccine is meant to sterilize Muslims, but there are no scientific links to the vaccine and sterility.

And Pakistani military sources say foreign fighters, including 33 Uzbeks and three Germans, were among the 40 people killed Tuesday in an attack on suspected militant hideouts near the Afghan border. Military sources said several terrorist commanders are believed to be among those killed in North Waziristan.

The military says all the victims were militants, but local sources say civilians are among the dead. Scores of local villagers fled after they were caught between the militants and government forces.

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