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Nepal's Army Begins Storing Weapons as Part of Peace Deal


United Nations officials say Nepal's army began locking up weapons Tuesday, as part of a peace deal between the government and former Maoist rebels.

The peace agreement calls for Nepal's army and former rebels to hand over an equal number of weapons to U.N. monitors.

An army spokesman said the firearms will be locked up in containers under U.N. surveillance. They will be stored at an army camp on the outskirts of the capital, Kathmandu.

Maoists began storing their firearms in January. U.N. monitors say the former rebels, who are now part of an interim government, have turned in about 3,500 weapons.

The arms handover is a key part of the peace process to end a decade-long conflict that has killed some 13,000 people.

Last November, Maoists rebels and government officials signed a power-sharing agreement. This year, former Maoist rebels joined Nepal's interim government, holding several cabinet posts and 83 seats in the parliament.

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