Sunday, February 19, 2012

Algeria seizes missiles smuggled from Libya

(Reuters) - Algerian security forces have found a large cache of weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, which they believe were smuggled in from neighboring Libya, a security source briefed on the discovery told Reuters on Saturday.

The find follows warnings from governments in the region that instability in Libya after the end of Muammar Gaddafi's rule is allowing weapons taken from Gaddafi's arsenal to fall into the hands of al Qaeda's north African branch and other insurgent groups across the Sahara desert.

The weapons cache was discovered in the desert about 60 km (40 miles) south of In Amenas, an energy-producing Algerian region near the border with Libya, said the source, who spoke to Reuters on condition on anonymity.

The source said the cache was located following a tip-off from a smuggler who had been arrested. He said it contained a "large quantity" of arms including the shoulder-launched missiles - a weapon which, in some variations, could be used to bring down an aircraft.

"This weapons seizure shows that the chaos in Libya is dangerous for the whole region," the source said. Read More