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Insurgent commander killed in Meghalaya


Shillong, Nov 21 (IANS): A top commander of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) was killed while another was nabbed from a second location Thursday in the insurgency-hit Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, police said.

GNLA area commander Indian Sangma, who is believed to be behind the killing of two civilians two months ago at Garodoba village under the Ampati assembly constituency of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, died in a gunfight with commandos of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).

"Indian Sangma was killed in a gunfight after he and three of his associates escaped from their hideout at Sonabil area. The rebels, instead of surrendering, opened fire at the commandos, leading to the gunfight," West Garo Hills district police chief Mukesh Kumar Singh told IANS.

Singh said the presence of the GNLA rebels in Sonabil area came to light following the arrest of another rebel Jackuis A. Sangma from Damalgre area in Tura Thursday morning.

He said the commandos also recovered a pistol and a magazine besides incriminating material from the dead rebel.

"Indian Sangma is one of the most wanted rebels by Meghalaya Police for his involvement in the killing of two civilians at Garodoba and carrying out extortion and kidnappings," the police official said.

Though three rebels managed to escape, Singh said the commandos have cordoned off the area to nab them.

Thursday's incidents were major successes for Meghalaya Police following the arrest of four GNLA rebels from two locations in West Garo Hills Wednesday.

The GNLA, outlawed by the central government, forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which provided it access to sophisticated arms and ammunition.

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