Algeria finds cache of missiles near Libya border
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Last Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012, 19:47
Algiers: Algeria has uncovered a large cache of weapons believed to originate from Libya, including dozens of shoulder-held missiles that can be used to shoot down airliners, newspapers said on Monday.

According to the French-speaking El Watan, 15 SA-24 and 28 SAM-7 Russian-made man-portable surface-to-air missiles were found at a location in the southern desert called In Amenas.

The cache, 43 kilometres from the Libyan border, also included large amounts of ammunition.

The weapons were buried in the sand and discovered at an unspecified date thanks to information provided by smugglers operating in the area.

Such missiles require no specific training to operate and maintain and can be used to shoot down planes or helicopters in mid-air, the newspaper said.

"SAM-7 missiles are a serious threat to civil aviation. They can strike aircrafts flying at an altitude of 11,000 to 13,000 feet," El Watan said, quoting an anonymous official.

"It's a threat to planes landing and taking off from the region's airports, notably the Zarzaitine airport in In Amenas."


First Published: Monday, February 20, 2012, 19:47

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