Nepal's Cabinet declared a cease-fire with communist rebels Wednesday and will no longer call them "terrorists," the deputy prime minister said.

The decision, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, reciprocates a unilateral truce recently declared by the rebels after three weeks of violent protests forced King Gyanendra to yield control over the government.

The Maoist rebels played a key role in the protests and appear headed for a role in the political mainstream. They have been fighting since 1996 to create a communist state.

The insurgency has left 13,000 people dead.