Al Qaeda smuggling weapons out of Libya:Italian min

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Islamist extremists in the Sahara desert have exploited the chaos in Libya to acquire weapons from the north African country, said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

“Extremists in the Sahel region have taken advantage of the conflict in Libya to get arms,” Frattini told a media conference during a visit to Algeria.

Algerian officials have previously warned that al Qaeda’s north African branch is smuggling weapons out of Libya to its base in the Sahara, Reuters reports.

Frattini’s comments were the first time a senior Western official has acknowledged explicitly and publicly that this has taken place.