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IRA says it has disarmed

LONDON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A published report says the Irish Republican Army has decommissioned its arsenal of guns and explosives.

A source close to the independent weapons inspection commission that witnessed the disarmament process told the Washington Post weapons inspectors will report their findings Monday to the British and Irish governments.

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The newspaper said the disarmament, which the IRA promised in a statement in July, was also confirmed by Martin McGuinness, a senior member of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.

"The IRA's decision on July 28 to formally end its armed campaign has changed the political landscape in Ireland forever," McGuinness said in a statement issued Sunday night.

"I am confident that tomorrow will bring the final chapter on the issue of IRA arms," he said. "I believe that Ireland stands on the cusp of a truly historic advance and I hope that people across the island will respond positively in the time ahead."

The disarmament announcement would be a historic breakthrough in a conflict between minority Roman Catholics and majority Protestants that has claimed more than 3,600 lives since 1969.

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