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By Padraic Halpin DUBLIN (Reuters) - Northern Ireland's first minister will ask Britain's Prime Minister to suspend the Northern Irish Assembly for four weeks to facilitate talks to save the power-sharing executive threatened by a crisis over an IRA-linked murder. Peter Robinson's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) sought the permission of a parliamentary committee to extend the summer recess by a month earlier on Tuesday but their motion was voted down by the nationalist Sinn Fein, whom they share power with. The DUP last week said it wanted Sinn Fein, the one-time political wing of the IRA, thrown out of government after police said a rump of the militant group that formally disbanded in 2005 may have been involved the recent killing of a former member.
Sporadic shelling and shooting, which each side has blamed on the other, had ensured a steadily mounting death toll despite the ceasefire called as part of a peace plan worked out in Minsk, Belarus, in February. More than 6,500 people have been killed since a separatist rebellion erupted there in April 2014.