Three suspected Maoists, including a woman, were killed on Monday near Attapady in Palakkad district during a police combing operations.
Thunderbolts, the Kerala Police's specialised anti-terror commando force, killed Karthik, Arvind and Sreemathi in an encounter at the Agaly-Ooty road.
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Four members of the group escaped unhurt, police sources said. Sources said police retaliated following an attack from the Maoists. The security personnel are scheduled to scour the region further to fluush out insurgents from the jungle around.
The Maoist presence had been confirmed in the Attappadi forest region.
Kerala Thunderbolts is an elite command force of the Kerala Police under the India Reserve Battalion. It was created on the lines of the Special Protection Group after the Mumbai terror attacks to counter possible terror strikes and carry out counterinsurgency operations in Kerala.
Last May, a Maoist was killed after an encounter at a luxury resort in the neighbouring Wayanad district.
Meanwhile, Congress MP from Palakkad V.K. Sreekandan asked the chief minister to explain the timing of the incident and what provoked the encounter. "This is to divert people's attention from the death of siblings in Walayar. The chief minister should explain the reason for the combing operations,” he said.