Taliban militants found several old Soviet-made ballistic missiles in the Panjshir Valley while securing the area and defeating local resistance forces. However, the missiles appear to be in an unusable state.
Activists found the missile cache on the bank of the Panjshir River, images that have surfaced online. The Panjshir Valley was taken over by the Taliban last week following a short-lived conflict with local forces.
The video shot by the militants shows around 10 Luna-M (NATO name FROG-7) short-range ballistic missiles and 10 R-17 Elbrus (NATO Scud B name) at medium range.
The weapons have apparently been stored there for a long time, with the hiding place visible in satellite images. The ammunition appears to be heavily weathered, with their body paint partially peeled off, the video shows.
A handful of warheads – likely FROG-7 missiles – can also be seen lying around. These have apparently been kept in shipping containers and appear to be in better condition. It is not immediately clear whether the missiles are powered, although given their storage conditions, the ammunition is unlikely to be operational.
Originally developed in the 1960s, the Scud B is a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying various warheads, including nuclear ones, up to 300 km. FROG-7 is a short-range tactical missile, with a maximum range of 70 km.
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Ballistic missiles were supplied by the Soviet Union to the Afghan socialist government in the 1980s. After its collapse in the early 1990s, the ammunition found its way into the hands of various armed groups, including the Valley Resistance Forces. of Panjshir led by the late Ahmad Shah Massoud.
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