47 IEDs seized, one held in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Feb 25 (IANS) Police seized a huge cache of explosives, including 47 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), on Thursday, averting a major crime in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district.

The IEDs were planted by rebels of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) in Doengkhugre area and in a village in Durama hill range, police said.

“Altogether, we seized 40 IEDs and at least 15 Molotov cocktail bombs from two locations and thus averted a major tragedy,” Davies Marak, district police chief of East Garo Hills, told IANS.

He said a suspected overground worker of the GNLA, who is believed to have planted IEDs, has been arrested. However, police refused to divulge his identity citing security reasons.

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Marak said the seizure of bombs followed a fierce gunfight with GNLA rebels led by their deputy commander-in-chief Rupanto Marak, who escaped from the spot.

“SWAT commandos are still continuing with the combing operation to track down the escaped rebels,” the police official said.

The GNLA, fighting for a separate Garoland in western Meghalaya, has also forged an alliance with Bangladesh-based rebel group A’chik Special Dragon. It also has links with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah, United Liberation Front of Assam and National Democratic Front of Bodoland.

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