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IRA 'has destroyed all its arms'

BBC News

26 September 2005

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The IRA has put all of its weapons beyond use, the head of the arms decommissioning body has said.

General John de Chastelain made the announcement at a news conference accompanied by the two churchmen who witnessed the process.

"We are satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal."

Welcoming the move, Prime Minister Tony Blair said IRA decommissioning had been "finally accomplished".

The general said: "We have observed and verified events to put beyond use very large quantities of arms which we believe include all the arms in the IRA's possession.

He said they had handled every gun and made an inventory of the weapons.

The arms included a full range of ammunition, rifles, machine guns, mortars, missiles, handguns, explosives, explosive substances and other arms including all the categories described in the estimates provided by the UK and Irish security services, he said.

"Our new inventory is consistent with these estimates. We are satisfied that the arms decommissioning represents the totality of the IRA's arsenal."

The IRA announced an end to its armed campaign in July.

The republican organisation said it would follow a democratic path ending more than 30 years of violence.

General de Chastelain's report confirming that IRA decommissioning had been completed was given to the British and Irish governments earlier on Monday.

He described IRA decommissioning as "an important milestone towards the completion of its task to achieve decommissioning by all paramilitary groups"…

IRA WEAPONRY

1,000 rifles
2 tonnes of Semtex
20-30 heavy machine guns
7 Surface-to-air missiles (unused)
7 flame throwers
1,200 detonators
11 rocket-propelled grenade launchers
90 hand guns
100+ grenades

Source: Security estimates/Jane's Intelligence Review

ID: N298

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