LONDON (AP) _ Northern Ireland's oldest paramilitary group, the
Ulster Volunteer Force, has announced its full disarmament _ a
long-sought peacemaking move that reinforces the Protestant gang's
abandonment of attacks on the province's Catholic minority.
The UVF, responsible for killing more than 500 people from 1966 to 1994, said Saturday in a statement its commanders have ``completed the process of rendering all armaments irreversibly and permanently beyond use.''
A similar statement from Northern Ireland's other major Protestant paramilitary group, the Ulster Defense Association, is expected Saturday to confirm that it also has begun to disarm.
Northern Ireland's disarmament chief has declined to confirm any disarmament moves by either group.