A loaded sub-machine gun and a pistol wrapped in plastic – these are the guns found in a Salford cemetery.

The intelligence-led recovery by GMP is a major coup for the city following a string of shootings.

Experts are carrying out ballistic tests on the two guns to establish if they were used in recent attacks.

As revealed in the Manchester Evening News, the weapons were found on Wednesday afternoon (July 17) in Weaste Cemetery after officers searched a disused chapel.

It means three guns have been recovered in Salford in two days this week.

Another handgun was seized after a boy and three young men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Liverpool Street last week.

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The seizures comes after one councillor at a meeting of the town hall’s crime and disorder committee questioned why police investigating gun crime were not recovering more weapons.

The 39-acre cemetery is known as a place used by criminals to stash items.

Officers were at the scene for several hours before removing the guns in boxes.

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Notable people to be interned in the cemetery include Joseph Brotherton, Salford’s first MP; Sir Charles Hallé, the founder of the Hallé Orchestra; Busby Babe Eddie Coleman; and Mark Addy, a local hero who saved more than 50 people from drowning in the River Irwell.

Salford has seen a number of infamous crimes in recent years in which the firearms used have not been recovered.

They include the murder of Paul Massey, 55, who was killed outside his home in Clifton on July 26 at 7.27pm in a hail of bullets from an Uzi sub-machine gun fired by Mark Fellows, 38.

This week’s discovery comes as the force prepares to launch a two-week firearms amnesty across Greater Manchester.

Five shootings have taken place in Salford so far this year.

In the latest, on Thursday last week (July 11), a gunman on a motorbike and the occupants of a blue Renault Megane exchanged shots on Liverpool Street.

The car was left with bullet holes in the windscreen and the back window smashed.

A source said the dispute between the A-Team and their rivals the Antis ‘has not stopped’, but said ‘the Liverpool Street shooting was different people – another dispute – involving younger people’.

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The motorbike rider and a pillion passenger were on a stolen black Yamaha MT1030, which has not been recovered.

Shootings in Salford in 2019

January 11 – Duchy Road, Duchy, shots fired at a house causing damage to windows. No one injured.

February 12 – Man shot three times while watching TV with friends at house in Duchy Road.

February 6 –  Gunman blasted wrong house in Howard Street, of Eccles New Road. Two people inside, but no one hurt.

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April 30 – Dad shot in front of his son as he waited at traffic lights in his Seat Leon at junction of Langworthy Road and Eccles New Road. A man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. He was released under investigation.

July 11 – Shootout between motorbike rider and occupants of car in Liverpool Street.

The shooting happened shortly after 2pm. The Megane was abandoned in nearby Port Soderick Avenue.

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A 17-year-old and three man – aged 18, 22 and 25 – were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Officers recovered a handgun.

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It is believed there is some concern that the jailing of eight men over A-Team shootings – which saw seven-year-old Christian Hickey and his mother Jayne, 30, blasted in the legs at their home in Winton Eccles; and a rival shot at a car wash – in April may have left a power vacuum in the city’s underworld.

That dispute, is, according to sources, ongoing.

The of shooting a man in the legs in February was being treated as connected to that feud, the M.E.N. understands.

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