Kyrgyz police uncover US arms cache

Kyrgyz police (AFP Photo / Vyacheslav Oseledko)
Government forces in Kyrgyzstan have located an arsenal of American weapons in a house in the capital Bishkek. The discovery, at a residence occupied by US military forces, was made on Tuesday night, reports Russia’s RBK

Among the firearms recovered were six heavy-caliber machine guns with optical sights and night vision attachments, twenty-six 5.56mm assault rifles, two 12 gauge shotguns, four gun barrels for heavy-caliber machine guns, two rifle-mounted grenade launchers, four camouflaged sniper rifles with optical sights, six 9mm Beretta pistols, around twenty thousand bullets of varying caliber and other military equipment.

The newspaper reports that the weapons were probably made in the west, and it would appear they came from the US-occupied Manas base. According to experts, such an arsenal could arm an entire special forces detachment.

Kyrgyzstan’s Prosecutor’s office has filed a criminal case into the incident.

Meanwhile, the US embassy in Kyrgyzstan claims the arsenal had been legally brought into the country, and that the Central Asian state’s leadership knew about it. The embassy also said the firearms were meant to be used by Kyrgyzstan anti-terror units.

So far none of the country’s national security, defence and law enforcement agencies has confirmed the information. However, the Kyrgyz government later announced that the US military have been in the country at the invitation of the Committee for State Security of Kyrgyzstan.