Grenades, rifles and weapons seized in a village in Greece

THESSALONIKI, Greece (HPD) — A series of weapons inspections in a small town in northern Greece have revealed decades-old hand grenades, assault rifles and unexploded ordnance, police said Tuesday.

The inspections took place over 20 days through December 22 in and around Florina, a town of fewer than 18,000, resulting in 14 arrests, mostly on charges of illegal gun possession.

Police said dozens of unlicensed shotguns and pistols were seized, along with 14 assault rifles, eight grenades and eight bayonets, a stun gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition during searches of private homes and storage areas. Ammunition “of various types”, 8.8 kilograms (19.5 pounds) of gunpowder and two submachine guns were also discovered.

Rural areas of Greece have a high prevalence of licensed gun ownership, mainly for hunting, but there are also illicit gun collections, often kept as trophies and of little practical use.

The Florina region also borders Albania, where an illegal arms trade flourished in the 1990s after the collapse of the communist government and a series of subsequent political upheavals.

Police said inspections were continuing in the region to “reduce crime and strengthen citizens’ sense of well-being and security.”

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