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Audit Finds Thousands of Iraqi Weapons Missing

A U.S. government report on reconstruction in Iraq says the U.S. military has lost track of thousands of weapons purchased for use by Iraqi security forces.

An audit released by the government's Special Inspector General says the U.S. Defense Department cannot account for 14,000 weapons. The missing items include semi-automatic pistols, assault rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers.

The report says the Pentagon has purchased about 370,000 small arms for Iraqi forces since the end of 2003. The weapons cost the U.S. military $133 million.

The report says coalition forces in Iraq have not complied with a requirement to register the serial numbers of all the weapons, making them difficult to trace.

The audit also says Iraqi security forces lack spare parts, manuals and experienced technicians to maintain the weapons. The report calls on the U.S. military to create accurate weapons inventories and provide more maintenance support to Iraqi troops.

Click here for the report, on the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction website (30 pages in PDF format)

Report: Thousands of US Weapons Purchased for Iraqi Forces Are Missing