Taliban ‘use Austrian weapons’

Allied forces fighting in Afghanistan found Austrian weaponry in raided Taliban hideouts, according to leaked files.Internet portal Wikileaks got hold of secret United States documents suggesting that troops operating in the crisis-stricken country discovered grenades and bomb throwers produced in Austria.Austrian officials stressed it would be illegal for companies in the country to sell weapons to nations or groups involved in a war or in a region or country where turmoil was likely.The Austrian interior ministry announced today (Thurs) that Lower Austrian firm Hirtenberger Defence Systems (HDS) was the only weapons manufacturer having applied for permission to export grenades of the type mentioned in the leaked documents.The Hirtenberg-based business declined to comment on the claims, claiming none of the executives could give a statement due to a current company holiday.Experts meanwhile said it was possible that the discovered weapons were fakes.Austria is a neutral and independent country since 1955 when the World war Two allied forces left the country after a 10-year occupation. Its army has however participated in various peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and the Golan Heights at the Syrian-Israeli border among other locations.