Nepal says its soldiers backed by helicopters have raided a rebel camp in the remote western part of the country, killing at least 30 Maoist insurgents.
The military says the fighting erupted Wednesday in the mountainous Kailali district after the army, acting on a tip, ambushed the hideout.
Officials say they believe the rebels were about to launch an attack on an army post. They say at least two soldiers were wounded in the clash, which lasted several hours.
Rebel violence has escalated in Nepal ahead of a January 13 deadline set by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba for the insurgents to resume peace talks. Maoist rebels have been fighting since 1996 to replace the country's constitutional monarchy with a communist state.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.