NINE Guardia Civil officers have been attacked with clubs and bottles by a 40-strong gang in Andalucia.

The officials were off-duty and had gone to a restaurant in Algeciras wearing regular clothes on Saturday afternoon, when they were assaulted by 40 people waiting for them in the street outside.

One officer fired three gunshots in the air and scared off the criminals, allowing the officers to escape, reported AFP.

They were treated for various minor injuries at a health center and were later discharged.

A Guardia Civil spokesperson revealed the attack could have been in ‘retaliation’ to the recent crackdown on mafias in the well-known drug trafficking hotspot.

The officers are part of a specialised team deployed in Cadiz by the Spanish government, in a bid to tackle the drug crisis in the area.

Algeciras has seen a record number of cocaine drug busts in recent months.

It comes after Europe’s biggest ever cocaine haul was seized by police last month, after nine tonnes of cocaine were hidden in banana boxes on a boat arriving from Colombia.

Some 40% of all drugs which are trafficked to Spain arrive via various ports in the province of Cadiz.

Spain is the main point of entry for drug trafficking in Europe due to its proximity to north Africa, which produces vast quantities of cannabis, and its close relationship to South America – the biggest cocaine producer in the world.

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