Libyan Rebels Resort to Secret Weapons Workshops
Ragtag bunch weld makeshift armored trucks, caltrops and more
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 3:40 PM CDT
Libyan rebel fighters flash the victory sign as they drive past a shelled building in the besieged city of Misrata, Libya.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – When Moammar Gadhafi’s troops began the siege of Misrata, the rebels there had almost no weapons. But now they have a motley makeshift armory, thanks to a network of secret workshops where ordinary Libyans work to weld armor plates onto pickup trucks, fashion crude machine gun turrets, and even create homemade caltrops to keep Gadhafi’s men out of certain areas, the New York Times reports.

The work is usually done with salvaged materials—including potentially dangerous explosives—or captured weaponry, much of which hails from the Cold War and was designed to be fired from distant aircraft, not fired manually. Most of the workers readily admit they have no idea what they’re doing, but say they have no choice but to try. “If we had enough weapons, I would not be here,” says one welder. “I would be fighting at the front lines, with two of my sons.” (The makeshift operation is one reason rebels want $3 billion in international loans.)
 

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