Shillong: Six Meghalaya police personnel had a close shave Wednesday when suspected Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels triggered a blast on the route of their convoy in Meghalaya`s East Garo Hills district, police said.
No one was injured in the improvised explosive device (IED) blast.
"The explosion occurred at Nengkhra area, around 8.30 a.m., as security forces moved in to clear roads to Williamnagar," J.F.K. Marak, the district police chief of East Garo Hills, said.
The bullet-proof truck carrying police personnel was partially damaged due to the impact of the explosion, police said. The personnel were engaged in ensuring the area was safe, so others could pass.
Nengkhra is about 300 km from Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya.
A massive combing operation has been launched in the area to arrest GNLA rebels who triggered the blast.
Last month, the GNLA had threatened to carry out retaliatory attacks against security forces after one of their top commanders was gunned down. Sohan D. Shira, military wing chief of GNLA, threatened retaliation.
"If our GNLA cadres are killed in this way, then from now onwards all those people (security forces) travelling in vehicles will also meet the same fate. This will happen very shortly," Shira had said.
The GNLA, one of five Garo rebel groups fighting for a separate "Garoland" in western Meghalaya, is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma.
Sangma is presently lodged in Shillong jail after being arrested from the India-Bangladesh border last year.
Over 40 people, including security personnel, have been killed, and more than 10 people were abducted for ransom by GNLA in the last three years.