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Nepal's Maoists Call Off Kathmandu Blockade


Nepal's Maoist rebels have called off a traffic ban on major roads leading into the capital, Kathmandu, that disrupted supplies to the city for nearly a week.

The ban was called off Wednesday, after pleas from human rights groups and a mass demonstration this week by city residents demanding an end to the increasingly bloody conflict between Maoist rebels and security forces.

The rebels imposed the ban last week to protest the alleged killings of rebel activists in government custody and to press for information about those who are missing.

Violence has escalated ahead of a January 13 deadline set by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba for the Maoists to resume peace talks.

The rebels have been fighting since 1996 to replace Nepal's constitutional monarchy with a communist state. More than 10,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

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