A MAN has been gunned down in front of his British girlfriend on the terrace of a popular expat bar near Benidorm.

The 42-year-old Albanian victim died after a masked gunman pumped five bullets into him as he sat on the terrace of The Orange Tree bar in Alfas del Pi.

The assailant then fled the scene late on Friday night.

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Police say there were few witnesses

Local reports say the victim’s British girlfriend was sitting with him as the violence erupted.

Police say the dead man was ‘known to them’ and are treating his murder as a ‘settling of accounts’ linked to the drugs trade.

Guardia Civil, who are investigating the case, could not confirm that the victim’s girlfriend is British. They added that there were ‘few witnesses’ and that no arrests have yet been made.

A waiter from a neighbouring bar and then emergency services tried to resuscitate the man, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Police say he had been shot five times at close range.

Investigators are said to be working on the theory that the hit is linked to a anti-drugs operation on the Costa Blanca last month.

They carried out three raids, including one on an unnamed bar in Alfas del Pi. Officers seized cocaine and Viagra-style pills and arrested an Albanian man and five others including a Brit and an Irish man.

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