KATMANDU, Nepal — King Gyanendra extended a state of emergency Monday, giving security forces sweeping search and detention powers to crush an increasingly violent Maoist revolt.
The emergency rule was first imposed on the poverty-ridden Himalayan kingdom in November to stamp out the 6-year-old rebellion by Maoist guerrillas, who are battling to topple the constitutional monarchy and install a Communist republic.
"The emergency has been extended by the king according to the constitution" for three months, state-run radio said.
A dispute over the extension of the security measure to end the revolt that has claimed more than 4,000 lives--2,000 in the last six months--has plunged Nepal into political turmoil.
The move was fiercely opposed by some members of the ruling Nepali Congress party, which expelled Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba from its ranks Sunday.
Deuba was ejected after he had the Parliament dissolved and ordered elections for Nov. 13, actions he took after party members rebelled against prolonging emergency rule.
Deuba, who will remain prime minister as head of a caretaker government until the elections, asked the king to extend the state of emergency.
The dissidents in the Nepali Congress lined up with opposition parties against the extension of the state of emergency, saying a new anti-terrorist law was harsh enough to fight the rebels.
But political analysts said the quarrel had more to do with infighting in the feud-ridden Nepali Congress.