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Balkan Police Arrest 22 In Drugs, Weapons Ring

Police from six Balkan countries have arrested 22 people and seized large quantities of weapons and drugs in a coordinated operation targeting an international smuggling ring, Interpol says.

Smugglers often route weapons and drugs through the Balkans to Western Europe, and some of the guns used in last November's attacks in Paris were produced there.

The police operation, code-named Balkan Trigger, took place between April 17 and April 19 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Serbia at the request of Interpol with support from Europol and Frontex, the European Union's law enforcement and border agencies, Branislav Pavlovic, the head of Interpol's Bosnia branch, said on April 25.

Police seized large quantities of guns, hand grenades, explosives, ammunition, cash, gold, vehicles, and drugs, most of it in Bosnia, Pavlovic said.

He did not give the nationality of those arrested or say where the arms originated.

Security agencies in the region have stepped up cooperation to fight organized crime.

The director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, visited Bosnia last week to discuss counterterrorism measures.

Based on reporting by Reuters and