Militants of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) ambushed a police vehicle at Bangjakona in South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya on Tuesday, killing five policemen and making away with three AK-47 rifles and a carbine.

The killings occurred two days after suspected GNLA militants gunned down seven persons and injured nine others at Gendamari in Lower Assam’s Goalpara district, close to the Assam-Meghalaya border, on Sunday night.

Meghalaya Director-General of Police P.J.P. Hanaman told The Hindu that a group of militants ambushed the team from the Baghmara police station around 11 a.m. as it went to Tura, headquarters of West Garo Hills district, to bring an accused.

He said the GNLA carried out the attack because it had of late suffered severe reverses at the hands of the Meghalaya police. The GNLA has been fighting for a separate state for the Garos. P.R. Sangma alias Champion R. Sangma, a former Deputy Superintendent of Police, founded the outfit in 2009 after deserting the Meghalaya police. On Monday, the Assam government decided to launch counterinsurgency operations in areas along the border with Meghalaya.