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Libya's weapons spreading, U.N. finds

April 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM   |   Comments

UNITED NATIONS, April 11 (UPI) -- The spread of illicit weapons coming out of Libya is continuing at a "worrying rate," a special report from the U.N. Security Council states.

A report on the spread of weapons used during the Libyan civil war in 2011 found proliferation extended throughout much of North Africa, the Horn of Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Al-Qaida forces were suspected of using weapons from the Libyan conflict when they crossed the border into Algeria to seize a natural gas complex early this year.

"In the past 12 months, the proliferation of weapons from Libya has continued at a worrying rate and has spread into new territory," The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London quoted the report as saying.

Libya has struggled with national security issues since the civil war in 2011. Internal rivalries have complicated a tense security situation exacerbated by militancy in and around the desert borders with its neighbors.

The United Nations reports that around 1,500 families were displaced last month by fighting in the Nafusa Mountains along the Algerian border. The Security Council said weapons from Libya were fueling conflict outside the borders "and enriching the arsenals of a range of non-state actors, including terrorist groups."

NATO forces enacted a no-fly zone over Libya during the civil war.

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