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Rebel factions agreed Sunday to temporarily halt weeks of fighting that has killed at least 1,000 people to give Pakistani negotiators a chance to broker a peace agreement.

"I wouldn't call it a cease-fire; I would call it a pause," said Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul (ret.), Pakistan's peace envoy.

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The capital had its calmest day in weeks Sunday, with only sporadic machine-gun fire in the western suburbs.

Doctors estimate at least 1,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Kabul since dissident rebel chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his Shiite allies launched an assault on Jan. 19 to oust President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

More than 3,000 people have been killed in the fighting, and more than 500,000 people, a third of Kabul's population, have fled the capital.

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