UPPER DIR, Dec 30: Security forces shifted old explosives and arms, dumped in the palace of the former ruler of Dir state, from Dir Khas to Nowshera late Monday night.

The weapons, including hand grenades, mortar shells, rifles and swords, which were mostly of German make, were loaded in four trucks amid strict security arrangements and were taken to Nowshera, officials said.

They said a huge quantity of the explosives had already been destroyed in the Sharmai area of the district.

The explosives had been collected by the former Nawab of the Dir state (1895-1960) for defence purposes and had been dumped at a place inside the palace known as Makhzan. However, although he was deposed in October 1960 and the state of Dir was annexed to Pakistan in the late 1960s, the explosives remained untouched.

The arsenal had been posing potential threat to the entire Dir town, as in case of any mishap or act of sabotage, they could have destroyed an area in four-kilometre radius. Keeping in view the threat, the former royal family had requested the government two years ago to remove the explosives, but the request remained pending.—Correspondent

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