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IRA Decomissions More Weapons

The Irish Republican Army has taken more of its weapons out of commission.

It is the second time that the Irish Republican Army has placed some of its weapons "beyond use."

In a statement, the organization says the initiative was taken to "stabilize, sustain, and strengthen" the peace process.

The disclosure comes four years after the so-called Good Friday Peace accord was reached.

Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, called this latest disarmament a welcome development. "The Army statement makes it clear that this is a unilateral initiative, that it is a leadership initiative and that it is taken at a time when others are not fulfilling their obligations," he said.

Without making specific reference to the type or quantity of weapons or explosives put beyond use, the international decommissioning body, which oversees the disposal of weapons as part of the Northern Ireland peace process, labelled the arsenal as "substantial."

Canadian General John de Chastelain is in charge of that decommissioning organization. "We hope that the second event indicates a process is now underway, and we will urge the IRA to pursue that process as speedily as possible," he said. "We will also urge the loyalist paramilitary groups to begin doing so as well."

The Irish Republican Army's first disarmament effort came last October.

Observers in the province say this latest move may have been aimed at those who said the arms handover last year was merely a one-time event.

Others suggest the timing, before next month's general election in the Irish republic, is designed to help Sinn Fein candidates south of the border.