Minister apologises after 'kidnap' goes wrong

24th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 November 2004, MADRID- Spanish Defence Minister Jose Bono has revealed he had had to go down the pub on a damage limitation mission after a military exercise shocked patrons enjoying a quiet drink.

24 November 2004

MADRID- Spanish Defence Minister Jose Bono has revealed he had had to go down the pub on a damage limitation mission after a military exercise shocked patrons enjoying a quiet drink.

Five soldiers and their instructor dressed as civilians took part in a mock attack on a 'victim' whose bodyguards had to come to the rescue as part of the exercise at the Amarilla cafe in Madrid -- but patrons were terrified as the group burst in and proceeded with their exercise.

One female soldier roughly stuck a gun -- albeit a fake one -- against the 'victim' whose bodyguards were learning how to protect their charges.

Customers had no idea the whole thing was an exercise and Bono paid the establishment a visit to apologise following an investigation.

Only the instructor was in on the plan.

The sergeant, who was not named, has now been placed under 'preventative arrest' for eight days and moved from the unit in which he worked, defence sources said.

Bono later told Spain's Cadena Ser radio station: "I felt I had a duty to visit the customers. I said I was sorry" as the incident "could have caused considerable trouble for this peaceful family."

Bono was referring to the bar's owners, who had asked for an explanation.

The minister received a cup of coffee for his trouble.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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