Spain cyclist pedals on despite grenade hit

2014-02-05 07:15
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Madrid - A Spanish cyclist said on Tuesday he is determined to circle the world despite witnessing a deadly bus bombing and then coming under a grenade attack while crossing Pakistan.

The 27-year-old cyclist, Javier Colorado, has posted a dramatic video he took of attacks by militants, including a 21 January bus bomb that killed 24 Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in the dangerous southwestern province of Baluchistan.

As a police vehicle with an armed guard drove him and his bicycle away from the scene of the bus bombing the following morning, Colorado was hit on the side of the head by shrapnel apparently from a grenade attack. He had to be treated in a clinic and then a military hospital in Quetta.

"Right now I am better, I suffered two terrorist attacks in less than 12 hours and I feel strong enough to carry on with my project," the bearded cyclist said in a message to AFP from his Facebook account.

"I have to take it step by step because what I went through was very tough," he said.

Colorado said he was being transported in a police van with armed officers through Baluchistan when the bus, which was travelling behind them on the same road, exploded.

In a video released on his YouTube account, a huge ball of flame can be seen erupting in the distance.

Clearly frightened and breathless, Colorado can be seen fleeing the police van and crouching for cover by a stone wall nearby as the sound of gunfire crackles.

After spending the night in a nearby police station for safety, his journey continues in another police van.

Soon after, the video shows Colorado lying on the floor of the police vehicle saying: "They shot at us, they shot at us. I am bleeding."

The cyclist said he published the video to show the "terrible horror" of such attacks.

"They are images that condemn the people dedicated to doing evil in the world."

Colorado said he had now crossed into India and had 1 500km to go to reach Kolkata.

"That's my next goal, to carry on pedalling and with my trip around the world," he said.

The cyclist disputed an assertion by Pakistani officials that six police officers had died while protecting him from a gun attack after he crossed the Iran-Pakistan border. He said they actually died at the bus bombing the previous day.

Colorado set off from Madrid in October and cycled across Europe and the Middle East, entering Pakistan via Iran.

He aims to cycle round the world in two years, passing through Asia, the Americas and Africa, according to his blog.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  spain
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