Lithuanian police abandon Soviet-made Kalashnikovs after recent embarrassing incidents

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Lithuanian police are abandoning their Kalashnikovs handed out to officers after the Paris attacks following two embarrassing incidents involving the Soviet-made assault rifles.

Chief Commissioner Linas Pernavas said Monday that various automatic weapons will be used by officers but "the AKs (Kalashnikovs) will be removed from our arsenal."

The decision follows an incident on Nov. 17 when a civilian was hit by a bullet from a Kalashnikov fired accidentally by a policeman on patrol.

Two days later, a handcuffed convict managed to steal a Kalashnikov rifle while escaping a police escort. He was caught after a five-hour manhunt involving 3,000 officers.

Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis, responsible for the police force, resigned on Friday after the incidents.