UNITED NATIONS, June 26, 2006 (AFP) – The Kalashnikov assault rifle will remain the world’s favorite killing machine in conflict zones for at least the next 20 years because its production is poorly regulated, a report released here Monday said. Up to 70 million AK-47s and variations of its design are in circulation around the world, including in the state arsenal of at least 82 countries, according to the report by the Control Arms Campaign, which lobbies for small arms controls.
Ak-47s are used to “massacre, maim, rape and abuse, torture, and fuel violent crime in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Britain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mexico, Sierra Leone, the US, Venezuela and Yemen,” the report added.
It noted that “the large number of production facilities, the widespread availability of surplus Kalashnikovs, and the absence of global standards and laws to regulate their transfer make it easy for the weapons to fall into the hands of unscrupulous arms brokers, armed militia and criminals.”
Produced in at least 14 countries across four continents, the AK-47, which can be fired at a rate of 600 bullets per minute, can be bought for as little as 30 dollars in parts of Africa.
The report was released just as a two-w