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Nepali Government, Rebels Postpone Signing of Peace Deal


Nepalese officials say the signing of a landmark peace deal to end a decade of civil war has been postponed.

Negotiators say the government and Maoist rebels are still committed to the deal but will not be signing the accord Thursday as planned. They said minor issues must still be worked out.

Rebel leader Prachanda and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala held talks in Kathmandu Thursday about the agreement, which would integrate the Maoists into a transitional government by the beginning of next month.

The deal also calls for government forces and rebel fighters to place their weapons under U.N. supervision.

The rebels have been fighting to topple the Nepalese monarchy since 1996. They declared a cease-fire in April after King Gyanendra gave up absolute power in the wake of mass protests.

Prior attempts to integrate the rebels into an interim government failed because the ruling seven-party alliance insisted they turn in their weapons first.

The 10-year rebellion has killed about 13,000 people.

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