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Afghan Gun Shops Sell US Weapons Seized by Taliban

In this picture taken on October 3, 2021, a Taliban fighter working as part of a police force stands guard at a road checkpoint in Kabul. - The Taliban's new police force already counts about 4,000 men in the capital, says a Kabul police spokesman, insisting the city is far safer than before, as the hardline group builds a police force from scratch. - TO GO WITH Afghanistan-police-Taliban,FOCUS by Elise BLANCHARD (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) / TO GO WITH Afghanistan-police-Taliban,FOCUS by Elise BLANCHARD (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
• October 6, 2021 5:00 pm

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U.S. weapons and military equipment left behind during the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan are now being sold by gun dealers in the country.

The New York Times interviewed weapons dealers in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province who said Afghans have been selling an array of U.S. military gear that the Taliban seized from Afghan national troops when they took over the country in August.

U.S.-made equipment sold on the black market includes "pistols, rifles, grenades, binoculars and night-vision goggles," according to the report. Gun merchants told the Times the Taliban has been selling off weapons since the end of the insurgency and that Pakistan is a source of demand for the captured U.S. arms.

"American-made weapons are in great demand, as they work very well and people know how to use them," one merchant said.

The Taliban denied that its fighters have been selling captured guns, telling the Times that U.S. weapons "are all listed, verified and are all saved and secure."

Billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry were reportedly seized during this summer's withdrawal, and the Taliban captured advanced equipment including drones, Humvees, and helicopters.

Published under: Afghanistan, Taliban