DUSHANBE, January 4, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- A large arms cache has been discovered in eastern Tajikistan.

According to the Interior Ministry, police officers discovered the cache on January 3 while inspecting the Shur area in the Tavildara district.

“One assault rifle Kalashnikov, two RGD-5 hand grenades, two detonators, 25 bullets of 7.62 mm caliber, 20 bullets of 4.45 mm caliber and other ammunition were extracted from the hide,” the source said.

Criminal proceedings have been instituted and an investigation is under way.

According to the Interior Ministry data, 824 firearms, including 205 assault rifles, 154 pistols, 166 smooth-bore guns, 71 grenade launchers and 636 other types of weapons and explosives were confiscated or surrendered to police stations across the country last year under the ongoing weapons collection.

The campaign to urge people to surrender weapons was launched in December 1994.  Since then, more than 33,000 weapons have reportedly been confiscated or handed over to police stations.