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IRA begins disarming

Gun barrel
The IRA insists decommissioning is not part of the Good Friday accord  

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- The paramilitary Irish Republican Army has issued a statement saying it is starting to decommission its weapons.

The announcement came almost exactly 24 hours after the republican Sinn Fein party -- which is closely associated to the IRA -- urged them to make a groundbreaking move and begin disarming.

The IRA statement released on Tuesday said: "This unprecedented move is to save the peace process."

The move was confirmed in a statement from the head of the disarmament commission, General John de Chastelain, who said: "A quantity of arms have been put beyond use. It includes arms, ammunitions, and explosives."

The Irish Republican Army's political wing has joined those calling for the IRA to lay down its arms. CNN's Tom Bogdanowicz reports (October 23)

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