Hundreds of Nepali soldiers were scouring remote western mountains on Wednesday for 76 troops still missing after a raid by Maoists guerrillas in which at least 40 soldiers were killed.
Ian Martin of the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal urged the rebels to humanely treat the captured soldiers and to respect international human rights laws.
Troops continued to scour the mountainous terrain where an army camp was attacked and overrun by the rebels on Sunday and Monday, AP informs.
The Royal Nepalese Army said Wednesday they have regained control of the area, near the village of Tilli, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) northwest of the capital, Katmandu.
At least 111 soldiers from the camp have been tracked down, but about 60 are unaccounted for, the army said.
The rebels have acknowledged they lost 26 fighters while 42 more were wounded in the attack.
The guerrillas have claimed killing 159 soldiers and taking at least 50 more hostage during the attack on the camp.
"We have no information. We are carrying out massive search operations," an army officer in Kathmandu, speaking on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The rebels have been known to exaggerate such claims in the past, while the army's accounts have generally been accurate.
The United States, worried about continuing Maoist raids, has urged the king to talk to politicians and restore democracy.
"I fear that your country will inexorably slide toward confrontation, confusion, and chaos," U.S. Ambassador James Moriarty said at a public function late on Tuesday, Reuters informjs.
"We call on the palace to reach out to the political parties with sincere proposals that reflect their common agenda of multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy and a return to full electoral democracy."