Taleban waging war with ammunition from US forces

Taleban waging war with ammunition from US forces

Published Date: 24 May 2009
By C J Chivers
in Kabul, Afghanistan

INSURGENTS in Afghanistan, fighting from some of the poorest and most remote regions on earth, have managed to maintain an intensive guerrilla war against materially superior US and Afghan forces.
Arms and ordnance collected from dead insurgents hint at one possible reason: of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents' corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition that the United States had provided to AADVERTISEMENT

fghan government forces.

The presence of this ammunition among the dead in the Qurangal Valley near the border with Pakistan, strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against US troops.

The scope of that diversion remains unknown, and the 30 magazines represented a single sampling of fewer than 1,000 cartridges. But military officials, arms analysts and dealers say it points to a worrisome possibility: with only partial US and Afghan controls on the vast inventory of weapons and ammunition sent into Afghanistan during an eight-year conflict, poor discipline and outright corruption among Afghan forces may have helped supply insurgents.
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