Pajhwok Afghan News, May 7, 2007

Weapons being smuggled from north to south: Official

USSR-made weapons, left from the jihad era, had recently been smuggled to the southern region

MAZAR-I-SHARIF: The war-era weapons were being smuggled from northern parts to the restive southern zone, said an official of the Disarmament of Irresponsible Armed Groups (DIAG) programme in Balkh on Sunday.

Ustad Basir Arifi, secretary of DIAG programme in the province, said this while addressing a ceremony during which a former jihadi commander voluntarily surrendered his arms.

.. a series of arms seizures in the north indicates that logistical support for the Taliban may be coming from an unlikely source: their former foes in the so-called Northern Alliance. Military authorities estimate that there are more than a million weapons in the northern provinces alone.
Institute for War & Peace Reporting, Mar.12, 2006

Without elaborating, Arifi said the USSR-made weapons, left from the jihad era, had recently been smuggled to the southern region.

He said they had collected over 1,790 pieces of light and heavy weapons from former commanders in the province so far.

Meanwhile, police said they had seized opium and arms following a clash with smugglers on Rustaq - Taluqan road on Sunday.

Colonel Sayed Habib Sayedkheli, in charge of the eighth police brigade in Takhar, told journalists the smugglers wanted to transfer the opium from Rustaq district to Kunduz City.

He said police seized 11 kilograms of opium, five hand-grenades and one Kalashnikov after exchange of fire with the smugglers for about 30 minutes.

In the eastern province of Nuristan, security officials had seized heavy and light arms during a raid on suspected place.

Defence Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi said the ammunition dump was unearthed in Bargmatal district of the province. The cache included artillery shells, RPG - 7 launchers, anti-aircraft guns and other light and heavy arms.

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