A man from the town of Elda, near Alicante, has reportedly shot himself in the foot, apparently for no other reason than to discover what it felt like.

The 35-year-old was rushed to hospital, with the local accident and emergency department braced to treat what, for the area, was a rare gunshot wound.

The man, who has not yet been named by police, appears to have acquired the handgun in Elda for no other purpose than aiming at himself and pulling the trigger. Having been admitted to hospital last weekend, the extent of his injuries has not yet been reported.

Beyond pickpocketed tourists, crime on the Costa Blanca is reasonably rare, with violent crime not a regular occurrence

Police in the area, who have not ruled out either sending the man for psychological assessments, nor charging him with firearms offences, are still looking for the gun.

They claim that the victim seemingly threw the gun out of the window of his neighbour’s car as they drove to the infirmary.

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