Gun for the road: Spanish soldiers are investigated after they are spotted drinking beers in a bar with their assault rifles lying on the floor
- Photographs show Spanish soldiers boozing in local pub with their rifles
- Army chiefs have launched an investigation following the incident in Catalonia
- Soldiers also photographed walking round Villafranca del Penedes supermarket
Army chiefs in Spain have launched an investigation after photos emerged showing soldiers appearing to booze on beer while their weapons lie on the floor.
The soldiers ordered drinks after a stop-off in popular tourist town Villafranca del Penedes, the capital of a vineyard region in Catalonia where 12 separatist leaders facing up to 25 years in jail have just been tried.
A Spanish Army spokesman said Monday an investigation was underway and hinted disciplinary measures would be taken if it was confirmed they were consuming alcohol while carrying weapons.
The photos were taken on Saturday, as the men stopped off on their way to their base in the southern Spanish town of Ronda after carrying out exercises in northern France.
Spanish army troops seen in Villafranca with automatic weapons lying on the floor of a bar terrace while they have a couple of beers
Soldiers carrying their automatic rifles drink a few beers at the Spanish bar. A Spanish Army spokesman said today an investigation was underway and hinted disciplinary measures would be taken if it was confirmed they were consuming alcohol while carrying weapons
They are understood to have taken their weapons with them, which sources said were without ammunition, because the vehicles they were in had to stop to refuel.
Barcelona-based historian Josep Lluís Alay tweeted: ‘Spanish Army troops in Catalonia with automatic weapons and a couple of beers.’
Pro-independence politician Gabriel Rufian seized on the soldiers’ faux pas by sarcastically claiming: ‘They’re just poor lads playing Airsoft’ before adding: ‘I’m sure that after the beer the automatic rifle will weigh less.’
The soldiers were also photographed walking round a supermarket in Villafranca del Penedes with their weapons slung over their shoulders.
The soldiers stopped off at a supermarket to make some quick purchases, all the while with rifles slung over their backs
Soldiers drink some beers at a local watering hole, carrying shopping backs with their supermarket purchases and with rifles slung over their backs. The pictures were taken amid a new war of words between Madrid and Barcelona-based politicians following the arrests last week of nine Catalan separatists on suspicion of planning acts of violence
The pictures were taken amid a new war of words between Madrid and Barcelona-based politicians following the arrests last week of nine Catalan separatists on suspicion of planning acts of violence.
Seven of the nine have been remanded in custody, sparking protests involving thousands of people in Barcelona on Saturday.
Earlier this year 12 separatist leaders were tried at the Spanish Supreme Court.
They are still waiting to find out if they will be jailed for up to 25 years on charges including rebellion and misuse of public funds following an October 1 2017 independence referendum later declared illegal by the Spanish courts.
Villafranca del Penedes is the capital of the Alt Penedes region.
The medium-sized town, between Barcelona and Tarragona, is best known for being the epicenter of the production of Spain’s famous sparkling wine Cava.