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2 Bodo rebels gunned down in Meghalaya

By The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, June 18 (IANS): Two rebels of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), believed to belong to the faction opposed to peace talks, were killed in a shoot-out with security forces in Meghalaya Saturday, police said.

Acting on a tip-off about the presence of armed NDFB and Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels at Guresimram village of East Garo Hills district, a joint team of army and police raided the hideout.

The rebels opened fire on the security forces, and in the ensuing gunbattle two NDFB rebels were killed, Deputy Inspector General (Western Range) G.H.P.Raju told IANS.

Though the identity of the killed rebels was yet to be established, intelligence officials said one of the slain rebels could be one of the high-ranking leader of the anti-talks faction of the NDFB.

"Some of our sources have given a particular name, but we cannot disclose it so as we are waiting for Assam Police to confirm the real identity of the deceased rebels," a top intelligence official told IANS.

A powerful improvised explosive device, an AK rifle, three Chinese-made grenades and magazine, two cell phones, two wireless sets and some incriminating documents were recovered from the gunbattle site.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajiv Mehta said the slain rebels were involved in killing three police personnel at Thapa Darengchi area in East Garo Hills district.

The NDFB, fighting for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribe, had agreed to a ceasefire in 2005, but it is blamed for continuing attacks on the security forces.

The outfit was also allegedly involved in the Oct 30, 2008, serial explosions in Assam that killed around 100 people and wounded 500 more.

On the other hand, the Garo National Liberation Army, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is also fighting for a 'sovereign Garoland' in the western area of Meghalaya. It is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma.

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