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Nepal plans drive to crush rebels

Kathmandu, Nov. 4 (Reuters): Nepal’s Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa vowed today to step up a drive to crush Maoist insurgents and hold early elections in the Himalayan country.

“The government is committed to control the violence and maintain law and order,” Thapa said in his first meeting with the media since his appointment in June.

He said the army and police would launch unified action to flush rebels out of their hideouts and disarm them.

Thapa, a staunch royalist, said the government would hold elections for nearly 4,000 village assemblies after quelling the Maoist revolt, and would follow them up with national elections.

He set no dates.

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