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Swedish think tank: Global arms sales rise for first time in five years

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Military arms sales by the world's top 100 producers rose 1.9 percent in 2016, the first year of growth in five years, a Swedish think tank said Monday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, reported that sales of arms and military services totaled $374.8 billion last year, excluding China. SIPRI counts China as a top arms manufacturer, too, but it's excluded in the statistics as no reliable data is available.

SIPRI’s annual report said that American and Western European companies accounted for 82.4 percent of total arms sales for 2016.

India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, China and Algeria emerged as the top importers of arms during a five-year period between 2012-2016.

SIPRI said it was not publishing a total for military spending in the Middle East in their latest report for 2016 as “data is unavailable for several countries including the United Arab Emirates, which was the second highest military spender in the Middle East in 2014”.