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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nepal Ups Fight on Maoist Guerrillas

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Nepal vowed Monday to fight terrorism and strike Maoist guerrillas who killed 141 people, mostly soldiers and police, over the weekend in the deadliest attack of their six-year revolt to topple the monarchy.

In a special statement to parliament, due to consider extending a state of emergency, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba appealed for unity. "I urge the parliament and all political parties to join the government in the fight against terrorism with common commitment," he told the chamber.

The violence is the latest to threaten the stability of the landlocked Himalayan country, sandwiched between India and China, after several members of the royal family were massacred in June. In the raids, 110 people, including 55 soldiers, 50 police and the district administrator, died in a single attack in Mangalsen, the capital of the western Achham district.

The rebellion has gathered steam since June, when Crown Prince Dipendra massacred reformist King Birenda and other members of the royal family before committing suicide. The new king, Gyanendra, has been unable to win the same support of the people that his popular brother enjoyed.

Only the king has the power to deploy the army, which Gyanendra did for the first time against the Maoists after ascending the throne in June.

Deuba was due to table a motion Monday night asking parliament to extend for a further three months a state of emergency declared in November, after the Maoists killed more than 200 people in a string of attacks. The latest raids take the toll since then to more than 700, most of them rebels.

Coming almost three months after the army was ordered to go after the guerrillas, the weekend attacks underline the extent to which the Maoists remain a serious force. Analysts said the strikes appeared well-planned and executed and coincided with the sixth anniversary of the start of the rebellion, the long-scheduled debate on the state of emergency and Tuesday's National Democracy Day celebrations. A vote on the state of emergency is due this week.

Communications and Information Minister Jayprakash Prasad Gupta said the army had run a mainly "defensive" operation focused on disarming rebels but would now go on the offensive.

Ram Bahadur Bista, the ruling Nepali Congress party's MP for Achham district, and diplomats based in the capital, Katmandu, say the Maoists control the area.

The Maoists draw their inspiration from Peru's Shining Path guerrillas and ideology from revolutionary Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung, seeking power for the rural poor and attacking feudal rulers and the urban elite.