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Nepal's New Government Detains Three Former Cabinet  Members

Nepal's interim government has detained for questioning three cabinet ministers who served in the royalist government of King Gyanendra.

They include former Home Minister Kamal Thapa, former Information Minister Srish Sumshere Rana and former Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey.

Pro-democracy activists whose 19 days of protest demonstrations forced the king to give up power had been demanding actions against officials who cracked down on them. Nineteen demonstrators were killed in the violence.

In another development, reports from Kathmandu say Maoist rebel leader Prachanda is likely to lead his delegation at the upcoming peace talks with the government. Earlier, his name was not included in the three-member delegation, and the government was insisting that he personally hold the talks.

The interim government has said the talks will take place soon, but has set no date for negotiations.

This will be the third time the two sides will try to end the decade-old Maoist insurgency that has killed 13,000 people. Earlier attempts failed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.