A British army officer hid under a bus for 30 minutes while his fellow officer was given a savage beating by four British squaddies in a punch-up in a picture-postcard Alpine village.
The incident that apparently involved alcohol, according to local media, happened at 3 am when the four soldiers were approached in front of a restaurant in the rural community of Neustift in the Stubai Valley in the Austrian province of Tyrol.
It is a major tourist destination and is one of the most scenic valleys in the province, and there are also several places offering all-year-round skiing as well as a flourishing winter tourism trade.
The four soldiers were all aged reportedly between 21 and 24, although their names were not revealed, and the two men who were their superior officers were also not named but were aged 34 and 38.
Austrian state broadcaster the ORF said that when they were attacked with punches to the head and body, the 38-year-old had managed to escape and hide underneath the bus.
The 34-year-old, however, was captured by the four and was repeatedly beaten including being knocked to the ground twice when he tried to run off. They demanded to know whether the 38-year-old was staying in the town, presumably in order to track him down.
After the police arrived and broke the fighting up the two officers were treated for cuts and bruises suffered during the attack.
None of the four soldiers was able to explain to police why they had attacked the officers but police confirmed all had been drinking.
The four are being investigated for assault, and police have confirmed that the British military had instigated disciplinary proceedings against them.
It was not revealed if the soldiers were in the area as part of a military exercise.
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