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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Afghanistan Special Weapons

The Soviet Union transferred hundreds of Scud missiles to the Najibullah government prior to and following its withdrawal from Afghanistan. As a result, Afghanistan has been the site of the most intense missile warfare since the German V-2 raids on London in World War II, with over a thousand missiles reportedly fired. (1) (Nine hundred missiles of all types are believed to have been fired by Iran and Iraq in the Gulf War, of which a less than half were Scuds). Medium-range missiles, particularly the SCUD, were successfully launched from Kabul in the defense of Jalalabad, 145 kilometers miles away. One reached the suburbs of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, more than 400 kilometers away.

The inventory of Scuds in Afghanistan declined substantially as there are no reports of any significant resupply. A military storehouse for Scuds was reportedly destroyed by Mujahedeen rockets in June 1991, likely further reducing the Scud inventory. (2) There have been no allegations that the Scuds in use in Afghanistan have been armed with anything other than conventional high explosives. (3)

In late January 2002 Michael Chandler, a UN sanctions monitor, said 100 Scud missiles and four mobile Scud launchers were in Afghanistan af of mid-2001, though the United Nations had not determined whether they were under the control of the Taliban or other armed groups.

Afghanistan has been associated with chemical weapons because it is believed that al Qaeda was attempting to acquire or manufacture them. There were several news stories reporting possible chemical labs run by Al-Qaida, but none of those turned out to be credible. In September 2003 Afghanistan ratified the CWC and it entered into force October 24, 2003.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:36:59 ZULU