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German army guns sold on Afghan black market

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German army guns sold on Afghan black market
Photo: DPA
13:21 CEST+02:00
Hundreds of pistols from German army stocks have turned up for sale on the black market in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a Sunday report by North German Broadcasting (NDR).

Among them were weapons from a delivery of 10,000 pistols given by the German Defence Ministry to the Afghan Government, which was supposed to supply the Afghan police and army.

Neither the Federal Government nor a US-led security unit responsible for the delivery in Afghanistan had chased up their whereabouts.

Both the Green party and the Police Union demanded an investigation into the affair, which had put hundreds of the weapons in the hands of arms dealers in the region, the report said.

The Defence Ministry said it had given the 10,000 Walther P1 pistols from an old stock of decommissioned weapons in January 2006 to the Afghan Interior Ministry “to equip the security forces that are being developed.”

The Afghan ministry had then handed out the weapons to the police and army. The German ministry knew nothing of their further whereabouts.

The US-led unit responsible for monitoring such deliveries could piece together the whereabouts of fewer than half the weapons, the report said.

According NDR, arms dealers in Afghanistan and Pakistan said the weapons were seen as prize assets that could be sold for as much as €678.

One German army weapon, nearly 50 years old but virtually unused, had been offered in Kabul for €1,085.

Among others, active and former Afghan police and soldiers bought the illegal guns.

The Greens' defence spokesman Winfried Nachtwei accused the Federal Government of a "grossly negligent approach“ to the issue of the weapons.

The Police Union also complained. The news follows a report in Der Spiegel that NATO is set to demand 1,200 German police officers to help train the Afghan security forces.

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