NATIONAL Police officers were shocked to find automatic rifles in the back of a van as part of an operation spying on rival criminal clans in the port city of Algeciras.

Police arrested four people in connection with the vehicle search, which they believe are linked to a clan battle that occurred in the neighbourhood of El Saladillo on August 7.

The weapons, a Cetme rifle, an automatic submachine gun and a hunting shotgun were found in the back of a van posing as a work vehicle.

The forces of law and order also found a large amount of ammunition, including 7.62mm bullets.

The police operation came after the violent confrontation between the two clans that left a trail of damaged cars and resulted in one arrest in El Saladillo.

It set into motion a surveillance campaign to investigate the criminal groups.

These clans, based around familiar networks, vie for control of the lucrative drug trade in different areas of the unemployment rife port city.

The discovery of the lethal weapons led to a search of an El Saladillo home by an elite police unit based in Sevilla backed by Algeciras officers.

Forensic experts are now examining the guns to try to find out more about where they came from and where they were going.


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