Afghan Arms Dealers selling abandoned American-made guns
The Afghan arms market is particularly lucrative at the moment
Gun merchants in Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city, are now selling caches of American-made firearms and tactical equipment for as much as $4,000 (almost £3000), according to reports.
The weapons and equipment were given to the Afghan military by American forces but they have now been taken by arms dealers looking to make a quick buck, reports the New York Times.
It is believed that the dealers are selling pistols, rifles, grenades, binoculars, night-vision goggles, radios, and other military accessories.
For two decades their customer base was largely Taliban militants looking to fight the occupation of the western forces. But with the Taliban now firmly in power after the west's hasty withdraw last month, the dealer's new customer base is largely entrepreneurs and everyday citizens.
“American-made weapons are in great demand,” one merchant told the NYT, “as they work very well and people know how to use them.”
Another dealer told France24: “We bought all these things from the Taliban after they conquered the Afghan army base. Now we bring them to the market to sell."
The weapons industry is massively saturated at the moment since the US alone left behind $83 billion worth of arsenal, including 600,000 small arms, 32,000 grenades, mortars, rockets, and bombs, and 30 million rounds of ammunition.
The Taliban, however, has denied that the sale of US weapons is happening on their turf, with a spokesperson, Bilal Karimi, saying: “I totally deny this; our fighters cannot be that careless. Even a single person cannot sell a bullet in the market or smuggle it.”
The biggest concern is that arms deals will flood across neighbouring countries like Pakistan, where groups Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, al-Qaida or Islamic State will use them to further their own cause.
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