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800 Belgium-Bound Shotguns Seized by Italian Police: Official

by Reuters /  / Updated  / Source: Reuters

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ROME — Italian police seized almost 800 shotguns bound for Belgium from Turkey from a truck that arrived in the northeastern port of Trieste, a statement said on Thursday.

Related: Flour Triggers Anthrax Alert at Brussels Mosque

The finance police, who are often in charge of port security, said that while customs rules had not been violated, the Turkish truck driver did not have the licenses needed to transport the 781 Winchester SXP shotguns.

Pump-action Winchester SXP rifles are made for hunting and are not considered assault weapons, but police said they had "substantially" increased their border inspections in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks and subsequent alert in Belgium.

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"Given the delicate nature of the cargo, its origin and its destination, the documentation regarding the rifles was immediately examined," the statement said.

According to the company's website, the shotguns seized are the fastest pump-action rifles in the market, capable of delivering three shots in half a second. The Islamist militants who killed 130 people in the French capital mainly used Kalashnikov assault rifles, or AK-47s.

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