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Nepal's Former Maoist Rebels Rejoin Government

Four former Maoist rebels were sworn in as government ministers in Nepal, ending three months of political deadlock.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala administered the oath of office in a ceremony Monday. Mr. Koirala told reporters that the main focus will now be on upcoming elections for a constituent assembly to rewrite the country's constitution.

Five members of the former rebel group were appointed as ministers on Sunday. One of those appointed was out of town and unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

The Maoists left the interim government in September after demanding election reform and an immediate end to the monarchy.

The former communist rebels are rejoining the interim Katmandu government just days after Nepal's parliament voted Friday to abolish the country's centuries-old monarchy and change to a republic.

King Gyanendra will remain on the throne until parliamentary elections are held in April.

The Maoists ended their 10-year insurgency in 2006. Attacks and clashes during the rebellion killed about 13,000 Nepalese.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.