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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 26 October, 2014

Libyan embassy hands over cache of guns and explosives

The country’s embassy in Athens has given a large stash of Gaddafi-era weaponry up to authorities.

File photo of guns seized in a separate incident
File photo of guns seized in a separate incident
Image: David McFadden/AP/Press Association Images

LIBYAN DIPLOMATS IN Greece have handed authorities a large cache of weapons and explosives, apparently amassed during the Gaddafi era and stashed in the building’s grounds.

A police statement said the cache included 30 handguns, two submachineguns, 15 kilograms of plastic explosives, detonators, two hand grenades, more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition for various types of firearms, silencers and wiretapping equipment.

A police official said the weaponry had apparently been amassed by the previous Libyan regime, headed by Muammar Gaddafi, although it was not clear exactly when it was brought into Greece.

“It was found inside the embassy grounds,” the official said. “When the diplomats who replaced the old embassy staff located the weaponry they notified the new Libyan government, which gave instructions for the arms to be handed over to the Greek police.”

Greece’s anti-terrorist squad took delivery of the arms and explosives Monday, and is investigating whether the firearms have been used in illegal acts.

No comment was immediately available from the Libyan embassy.

The police official said some of the weapons were practically military grade and very dangerous, and had most likely been brought into Greece illicitly.

He spoke on condition of anonymity as the investigation is ongoing.

Greece and Libya enjoyed good relations under Gaddafi, who ruled from 1969 until shortly before his lynching by rebels last October.

More: Armed militias in Libya are ‘out of control’, one year after uprising>

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