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Inside Serbia's Booming Arms Industry

As Serbia's economy struggles and unemployment soars above 25 percent, one sector has been gaining workers and profits each year: the weapons industry. Heavily damaged during the wars of the 1990s, Serbia's arms industry now counts its exports at some $300 million each year. The Zastava Arms factory, restructured and rebuilt in 2005, is one manufacturer that's benefiting from the boom, exporting weapons to more than 40 countries worldwide. (9 PHOTOS)

A worker carries a rifle at the Zastava Arms factory in the town of Kragujevac, south of the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
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A worker carries a rifle at the Zastava Arms factory in the town of Kragujevac, south of the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

An abandoned production hall at the Zastava Arms factory. Founded in 1853, the factory was damaged during World War II and again during NATO air raids in 1999 but was largely rebuilt in the past decade with government help.
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An abandoned production hall at the Zastava Arms factory. Founded in 1853, the factory was damaged during World War II and again during NATO air raids in 1999 but was largely rebuilt in the past decade with government help.

A worker carries an assault rifle in the factory's exhibition hall. The factory sells weapons to clients in Africa and the Middle East -- former partners during the Yugoslav era -- and even the United States, which led the NATO air war against Serbian forces in 1999.
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A worker carries an assault rifle in the factory's exhibition hall. The factory sells weapons to clients in Africa and the Middle East -- former partners during the Yugoslav era -- and even the United States, which led the NATO air war against Serbian forces in 1999.

An employee works in a machine shop.
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An employee works in a machine shop.

A weapons designer picks up a prototype of a handgun in the manufacturing hall of Zastava Arms.
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A weapons designer picks up a prototype of a handgun in the manufacturing hall of Zastava Arms.

A hallway leads to the factory's shooting range.
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A hallway leads to the factory's shooting range.

Two boys show the three-finger salute, a symbol of Serbia, as they sit on top of an abandoned manufacturing hall.
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Two boys show the three-finger salute, a symbol of Serbia, as they sit on top of an abandoned manufacturing hall.

A weapons tester fires a prototype assault rifle at the shooting range.
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A weapons tester fires a prototype assault rifle at the shooting range.

Rifles on display in the Zastava Arms exhibition hall
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Rifles on display in the Zastava Arms exhibition hall

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