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Swedish arms mentioned in leaked Iraq-conflict documents

Published måndag 25 oktober 2010 kl 13.01
The Swedish AT4 weapon is named some 200 times in newly published documents about the Iraq conflict.

The controversial question of Swedish weapons in war has come up again now as the site WikiLeaks published some 400,000 classified U.S. Military documents, detailing the heavy toll that the Iraq conflict took on civilians between 2004 and 2009.

The documents make mention of hundreds of Swedish weapons, both that the U.S. and their enemies were using. Carl Gustaf anti-tank rifles and submachine guns are among the arms described here and there in the files, reports Swedish television. References to the Swedish AT4 anti-tank grenade launcher appear some 200 times in the documents.

In response, the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society is demanding new regulations for export of weapons.

"This must be an eye-opener for politicians that we need a new rule system for weapons export. It shows something that we've seen time after time – that we are exporting weapons to belligerent countries that claim civilian lives every day," Anna Ek, from the Society, told Swedish television.

Allan Widman, spokesperson for Swedish defence policy told Swedish television that as Sweden has a military materials cooperation with the US, it's not at all surprising that the US armed forces are using Swedish weapons. "Then, we also know about international weapons theft and that countries that have bought weapons resell them illegally," he said.

He said that Sweden tries to be very careful that the weapons it exports are only used by the party they are meant for. He added that Sweden has very good follow up internationally, but admitted that clearly, it could always be better.

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