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Nepal Frees 182 Jailed Maoist Rebels

Nepal's new government has released more Maoist rebels detained under a scrapped anti-terror law. At least 182 rebels are now free.

The government of interim Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala announced Monday that it was dropping terrorism charges against hundreds of rebels.

They were imprisoned by the former royalist government of King Gyanendra.

Friends and relatives greeted the former prisoners Tuesday afternoon. The rebels raised their fists in a Maoist salute and chanted Maoist slogans.

A Maoist rebel spokesman, Krishna Mahara, says the government has promised to free 350 rebels, although hundreds more will remain in jail.

The government decision to release the rebels came following talks on Sunday between Nepal's home affairs minister, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, and Maoist leader Prachanda in a remote western village.

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