Rebel leader offers Kabul truce

KABUL (Reuter) - The leader of a dissident Shia guerrilla faction offered peace terms to the Afghan government yesterday and proposed Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia as watchdogs over any agreement. 'If the government doesn't fire on us, we will not fire on them,' said Abdul Ali Mazari, the head of a powerful faction of the Hizbe Wahadat party. It was his first interview since government troops captured his Kabul headquarters last week. 'There is no official ceasefire between us and the forces of the Defence Ministry,' he said as the guns and heavy artillery of all sides were silent in Kabul for the first time in a month.

A Pakistani peace broker arranged a temporary ceasefire on Sunday to end four weeks of fighting between the government and Hizbe Wahadat and its new ally, the radical Hizbe Islami party. Most truce violations stopped, giving residents of areas that had come under heavy rocket fire a chance to move families and possessions to safer districts.

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