The rebels raided Bailiguma village in the Chitrakonda police station area, about 700 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, and dragged 35-year-old Laxmi Khara and 45-year-old Sathirao Santala from their homes.

After killing Khara and Santala, the rebels fled to the nearby forest, district Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh told IANS.

Laxmi was an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) while Santala was a former Maoist who deserted the ranks to return to normal life. The cause of the killings was not known, the police officer said.

Maoists are active in more than half of state's 30 districts. Malkangiri is one of their strongholds.