Nato-led force sees success in Bosnian arms removal

SARAJEVO, Jan 19, 2000 -- (Reuters) Bosnians handed in thousands of illegally held guns, mines and grenades from the 1992-1995 war for destruction last year, the NATO-led peacekeeping force said on Tuesday, hailing it as a huge success.

"Last year, 7,500 weapons, over two million rounds of ammunition, 25,000 hand grenades, over 8,000 mines, 3,000 kilos of explosives and 22,500 other items (mortar rounds, light anti-tank ammunition and rifle grenades) were handed in for destruction," it said in a statement.

The NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR), which keeps the peace following the conflict, said the Operation Harvest program to remove illegal armaments would continue in 2000.

A spokesman said many weapons had been handed in by individuals and that others had been found. "The importance of taking this lethal weaponry out of circulation cannot be overemphasized.

The arms were being destroyed, he said.

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