SHILLONG, Nov 18 (IANS): Two policemen were killed and three injured Tuesday when tribal militants ambushed them in Meghalaya, officials said.
Heavily armed suspected militants of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) attacked the Meghalaya policemen in Siju area of South Garo Hills district.
The police personnel were proceeding to Siju from Baghama, the district headquarters of South Garo Hills district near the Bangladesh border.
"Preliminary reports indicate that two policemen were killed and three others were injured after they were ambushed by suspected GNLA militants," Meghalaya police chief Peter Hanaman told IANS.
He said a search operation has been launched by a joint team of Meghalaya's Special Weapons and Tactics and the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commandos to nab the rebels involved in the incident.
"Our men are already on the ground and we are hopeful we'll track them down at the earliest," he said.
However, the GNLA, a terrorist outfit, did not claim responsibility for the attack.
The GNLA, fighting for a separate Garoland, is headed by Champion R. Sangma, a former deputy superintendent who deserted Meghalaya Police owing to alleged harassment by his superiors. He floated the GNLA in 2009.
Sangma was arrested July 30 near the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya. The state government terminated his services in July 2010.
The outfit, outlawed by the central government, forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, providing it access to arms and ammunition.
GNLA rebels, who number around 100, unleashed terror in three impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the last one year and killed over 35 people, including security personnel.