Nepal's Maoist rebels have ambushed an army patrol in the east of the country, killing 10 soldiers.
The attack took place at a village in Sindhu-pal-chowk district, a Maoist stronghold 100 kilometers east of Kathmandu.
At least 70 people have been killed in the past week, following a deadline set by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba for the rebels to join peace talks. Mr. Deuba says he will go ahead with elections without the Maoist's participation if the rebels do not meet the January 13th deadline.
The latest violence comes amid fresh warnings by international human rights groups about the deteriorating security situation for foreign aid workers as well as Nepalese citizens.
The Maoist rebels in Nepal have been fighting since 1996 to topple the country's constitutional monarchy and establish communist rule.