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U.S. beefs up search for conventional weapons in Libya

By Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer
updated 7:01 PM EDT, Fri October 7, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. worries about conventional weapons falling into the wrong hands
  • It puts more money, personnel into search for them

(CNN) -- The United States is putting its money where one of its concerns is -- locating conventional weapons that may have gone astray during the upheaval in Libya.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday that the United States is sending in more personnel and devoting millions more dollars to the hunt.

U.S. officials and others have warned that thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, as well as other weapons, could fall into the hands of terrorists or be used by remnants of the forces loyal to ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"We now have nine teams working across Libya," Nuland said in Washington. Until recently, just one team had been in place.

"We initially had given $3 million to this effort; we've recently added another $10 million. And we are working all around Libya," she said.

Each team has one American assisted by members of the anti-Gadhafi National Transitional Council.

"The Libyans are also growing their own capability," Nuland said. "We are very, very committed."

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