British and Irish governments try IRA's patience to the limit

The withdrawal of the offer of &to=http:// ' target=_blank>IRA decommissioning tonight plunged the Northern Ireland peace process into deep crisis.

In a hard-hitting statement, the terror group accused the British and Irish governments of withdrawing their commitments and trying its patience to the limit.

It confirmed that it was taking its proposals to get rid of its weapons off the table, informs the Scotsman.

According to Reuters, the IRA did not threaten a return to violence, but the move underlines the political deadlock gripping the province since the guerrilla group was accused by Britain and Ireland of mounting a massive bank raid in &to=http://' target=_blank>Belfast in December.

On Tuesday the prime ministers of Britain and Ireland said the refusal of the IRA to disarm and end paramilitary activities was the only obstacle preventing the revival of a power sharing government set up under the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

"We reject this," said the IRA in a statement to be published in Thursday's edition of the Dublin-based Republican newspaper An Phoblacht. "We do not intend to remain quiescent within this unacceptable and unstable situation. It has tried our patience to the limit."

&to=http://' target=_blank>Tony Blair and the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, will now be expected to attempt an operation to try to prevent further unravelling of the situation.

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