Nepalese soldiers repelled a major rebel assault on one of their bases in the country's mountainous northwest, killing at least 50 communist guerrillas during a battle that lasted more than 12 hours, the army said Friday.

Hundreds of guerrillas attacked the security base at Khara village, about 250 miles west of the capital, Katmandu, the Royal Nepalese Army (search) headquarters in Katmandu said. The battle began about 6 p.m. local time Thursday.

The army said it recovered at least 50 bodies while searching nearby areas but believed more rebels were killed during the fighting. Soldiers also recovered several weapons and ammunition from the battle site.

Eight soldiers also were wounded in the fighting, three of them critically. They were airlifted out of the area and were being treated at hospitals in nearby towns.