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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Albania arrests smugglers running arms to Turkish rebels

The seven arms smugglers arrested in Albania a few days ago had been smuggling weapons to Turkish rebels group -- the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), local media reported on Friday.

The Albanian Public Prosecution Office in Tirana found that the six Albanians and one Greek had smuggled arms from Albania into Greece, whose destination was the Kurdish populated areas in Turkey.

The six Albanians admitted that they had bought Kalashnikov automatic rifles for about 200 euros (about 250 U.S. dollars) apiece at Albanian markets and resold them to Greek middlemen for 600 euros (about 750 dollars). The Greeks had in turn sold them on.

The guns were reportedly finally sold for up to 1200 euros (about 1500 dollars) apiece.

Albanian military bases and arms depots were looted in 1997, when political turmoil swept the country. Less than half of the stolen weapons and ammunition had been recovered since.

Source: Xinhua
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