NATO concerned that 10,000 SAM missiles may be missing in Libya

Estimates of the number of MANPADs in Libya range "from 15,000 to as high as 30,000"

From the AP:  NATO said Monday it is concerned about the possibility that large numbers of portable surface-to-air missiles, previously in the armament of Moammar Gadhafi’s army, are missing in Libya.

"It is a matter of concern if stockpiles of weapons are not properly controlled and monitored," Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

He was responding to a report that thousands of SAM-7 shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles allegedly went missing after the defeat of loyalist forces by former Libyan rebels, who were supported by NATO air strikes.

On Sunday, the German news magazine Der Spiegel published a report saying that during a confidential briefing last Monday for German lawmakers, NATO’s top military officer, Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, said the military alliance had lost track of at least 10,000 surface-to-air missiles from Libyan military depots.

The report cited Di Paola as saying he fears the missiles could turn up anywhere — "in Kenya or in Kunduz" — and that they could potentially pose a "serious danger to civil aviation. . . ."

Fogh Rasmussen said that, since NATO did not have any troops on the ground, it was the responsibility of the post-Gadhafi leadership — the National Transitional Council — to ensure that all weapons stocks are properly controlled and monitored.

"Individual allies are in contact with the NTC to make sure they address this issue properly," he said.   (photo:Department of Defense)

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