Troops in Nepal are searching for seven government workers who have been kidnapped by communist rebels in the country's east. Authorities say the workers were traveling in a vehicle Saturday when they were stopped and ordered out of the vehicle. They say Maoist rebels checked the passengers identity cards before taking them away. The abduction happened about 550 kilometers east of the capital, Kathmandu. Maoist rebels have been fighting to establish a communist republic in Nepal. They have been escalating their fight since King Gyanendra seized direct control of the government in February.