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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Weapons linked with Paris attacks produced in Serbia: Factory

AFP , Friday 11 Dec 2015
Views: 846
Views: 846

Some of the arms believed to be used in last month's deadly Paris attacks, were manufactured in Serbia's arms factory, including one exported to US in 2013, a company official said Friday.

"A semi-automatic pistol PV M92 was produced in our factory and legally exported to the (Florida-based) company Century International Arms in May 2013," Milojko Brzakovic, head of Zastava arms factory told AFP.

Following the November 13 attacks in Paris, Serbia's interior ministry was asked by French police and Interpol to check serial numbers of seven pieces of weapons believed to have been manufactured in Zastava, Brzakovic said.

"We were given numbers of weapons and confirmed that all had been manufactured in Zastava and we delivered information where these weapons ended up," he said.

All serial numbers, including the semi-automatic pistol and several automatic rifles, versions of AK-47 known as Kalashnikov, matched the weapons legally produced and sold by our factory, he said.

"We have strictly controlled trade of arms and military equipment, nothing goes out of the factory without the approval of the Serbian government and export licence," Brzakovic insisted.

He had no explanation how the legally sold weapons, including the pistol exported to the US, ended up in the hands of attackers in Paris.

"These could be somehow followed, but the most difficult would be to track down the weapons that were in depots of the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and territorial defence prior to the 1990s wars," he said.

Most of the weapons linked with the Paris attacks were manufactured and sent to army barracks throughout communist Yugoslavia before its bloody break up in a series of wars in the 1990s.

According to Brzakovic, one rifle was delivered in 1983 to an army barrack in Bosnia, another to one in Macedonia in 1987, two were sent to army units in two Croatian towns and one in 1990 to a Slovenia's military office.

One pistol CZ99 was sold to a local arms dealer in 1993.

German newspaper Bild reported last month that four assault rifles used in the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead had been allegedly purchased from a trafficker in Germany.

Quoting documents from the Stuttgart prosecutor's office, the newspaper said two AK47s and two Zastava M70s were sold on November 7 by the arms dealer to a customer in Paris.

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