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Libyan rebels use German weapons
Photo: DPA

Libyan rebels use German weapons

Published: 31 Aug 2011 08:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Aug 2011 08:04 GMT+02:00

Libyan rebels have reportedly been using Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles in their struggle against dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The German company denies that it sold weapons to anyone in the embargoed country.

According to Wednesday's edition of the Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper, as well as public broadcaster ARD, pictures prove that the rifles carry the manufacturer's trademark.

Eye witnesses said a huge stockpile of the guns fell into rebel hands during the attack on Qaddafi's compound in Tripoli last week. But it remains unclear exactly how many or who exported them to Libya.

The Baden-Württemberg-based Heckler & Koch, one of the world's leading small arms makers, has ruled out that they delivered the weapons to Libya.

The German Economy Ministry also said that the government had not issued a permit for any deal to send G36 rifles to Libya. Germany has a policy of not selling weapons to conflict zones, or any country where the weapons could be used to abuse human rights.

But Germany is also the world's third biggest weapons exporter, after the United States and Russia.

The G36 is used as a standard weapon by several military forces, including the Germany army.

DAPD/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:30 August 31, 2011 by The-ex-pat
Germany, producer of some of the finest military hardware in the world, providing it is only used for war games in Augustdorf or Sennelager........lol
09:01 August 31, 2011 by freechoice
you can't get this Made in Germany anywhere in Germany, but you can get in Libya? This is getting ridiculous!
09:52 August 31, 2011 by raandy
It is most likely true that H&K did not sell direct to Libya ,but these rifles were bought through a 3rd party as is the case with most embargoed nations.
10:25 August 31, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
I guess it's possible to buy german rifles anywhere in this world from nearly anyone, even in big stocks. A direct supply by H+K is most unlikely.
10:58 August 31, 2011 by ND1000
Im now really confused, I've been assured by all my German neighbors that Germany was more righteous and perfect than all other countries. Ive been informed that only Americans, Russians, and Brits do bad things like that.
11:26 August 31, 2011 by Celeon
I saw a rebel using one in footage by CNN a few days ago. I wondered how long it would take for the media in Germany to react.

The rifle looked brand new and clean as if it was just taken out of the box and it seemed to be the short barreled version G36-KV which was exported to a lot of countries.

Could be the equipment of professional mercenaries.
17:19 August 31, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Rebels have cash for German mad H&K weapons? Yea, rite.

More likely NATO bought the through a shadow organization and distributed them in Libya.
19:22 August 31, 2011 by jg.
@derExDeutsche "Rebels have cash for German mad H&K weapons?"

From the article: "....a huge stockpile of the guns fell into rebel hands during the attack on Qaddafi's compound in Tripoli last week"

I would take this to mean that Gaddafi's military had bought them.

I guess H&K could deduce to whom they had supplied the weapons if they were given some serial numbers. I'm sure some journalist could help with that info - and I'm sure H&K wouldn't want to keep selling to customers who breach their end user agreements.
19:58 August 31, 2011 by Englishted
So now we know they work ,give them to the German soldiers in Afghanistan and let them share some of the workload there.
05:29 September 1, 2011 by crunchy2k
So the weapon is the story? German weapons are expensive....nobody in their right mind buys them over the simpler ak format. So, this is a story of embarrassment. The Russians sold some scud missiles to libia...The USA wanted the scuds to be limited to lessor range. And as thing got tight in the negotiations, maybe Hillary said she would sell some German arms to tweak the deal..Wiki-leaks is golden. The USA intervention in the Russian scud deal is real...All else is my speculation.
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