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Arms Cache on Cyprus Raises Questions on Terrorist Activity

October 25, 1987|United Press International

NICOSIA, Cyprus — An arms cache accidentally discovered last week by forest rangers near the coastal city of Larnaca has raised questions about terrorist activities on the Mediterranean island nation.

Cypriot authorities said Thursday that they do not know how two anti-tank RPG-7 launchers and seven missiles were smuggled into the country. But they stressed that the rocket-propelled grenade launchers are favored by Lebanese militias who could be using Cyprus as a transit point to smuggle weapons into the war-torn country.

Unconfirmed press reports suggested that the weapons might have been brought to target British bases on the eastern Mediterranean island.

The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia has beefed up its security in the country of 700,000 people, sharply divided between ethnic Greeks and Turks.

A mortar, rocket and machine-gun attack against the British base at Akrotiri last year was believed to be in retaliation against Britain because it had allowed the United States to use its territory to launch a raid on Libya in April, 1986.

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