Many other types of weapons that could have come from Libya have been present in the fighting in Mali, including Soviet-era assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Unlike these items, the NR-160 was not a widely distributed or globally produced export product that could have come from myriad sources. It was a peculiar item with a limited circulation and a well-established tie to Libya.
When combined with images of other weapons strongly associated with Libya that have also turned up in Mali, the presence of NR-160s suggests that evidence is hardening that weapons cast loose in Libya are contributing to instability elsewhere, perhaps most vividly in Mali…. This presumed influx of weapons to Mali from Libya has in turn underscored the unwanted effects of a war supported by the West, and raised questions anew about why NATO and the allied militaries that helped defeat the Qaddafi military did little to contain weapons that foreign military intervention helped set loose. (New York Times, Posted 9 Feb 13)