UN panel: Libyan weapons are spreading at an alarming rate to new areas and fueling conflicts

A U.N. panel says Libyan weapons are spreading at "an alarming rate" to new territories in west Africa and the eastern Mediterranean including Syria and the Gaza Strip where they are fueling conflicts and enriching the arsenals of armed groups and terrorists.

It said cases of illicit transfers from Libya in violation of a U.N. arms embargo that have been proven and are still under investigation involve more than 12 countries and include heavy and light weapons such as portable air defense systems, explosives, mines, and small arms and ammunition.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council circulated Tuesday, the panel said that since the uprising that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi "Libya has over the past two years become a significant and attractive source of weaponry in the region."