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IRA to Break off Contact with Disarmament Group
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) said on Wednesday that it was breaking off contact with the international decommissioning body overseeing the guerrilla disarmament in the British-ruled province.

This is a fresh blow to the Northern Ireland peace process, which has been in chaos for years and came again to a stand still in recent days.

The move was announced in an IRA statement on Wednesday afternoon.

It said it had taken the decision to stop engaging with the Independent International Commission for Decommissioning (IICD) because the British Government had "by its own admission" not keptits commitments under the Good Friday Agreement.

But in the statement, issued through the republican newspaper An Phoblacht, the IRA said it remained committed to the search fora just and lasting peace.

The statement blamed the British government for the current political crisis in Northern Ireland.

"The British Government says that responsibility for this present crisis and its resolution lies with us and there is an effort to impose unacceptable and untenable ultimatums on the IRA," a BBC report quoted the statement as saying.

A spokesman for IICD said he was "disappointed" by the IRA moveand that he hoped contact would be resumed as soon as possible.

It is not the first time the IRA has broken off contact with the IICD. In February 2000, the IRA announced they would no longercooperate with the body but later resumed talks with it.

(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2002)

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