Six people were killed on Tuesday in an attack by communist rebels on a group of election workers and soldiers in the southern Philippines, military and police officials said.

The victims were transporting vote—counting machines used in Monday’s balloting when they were ambushed in Marasugan town in Compostela Valley province, 930 kilometres south of Manila.

Senior Superintendent Aaron Aquino, the provincial police director, said two soldiers, two militiamen, one poll watcher and an election officer were killed in the attack.

“The group came from election duties and decided to board a dump truck to deliver back two machines and other election paraphernalia,” he said.

The Philippines held general elections on Monday to pick a new president and nearly 18,000 other officials using a new automated system.

Under the new system, voters fed their ballots into optical scanning machines that counted their votes and transmitted the results electronically to central servers.

Fourteen people were killed in shootings and grenade attacks on election day.

Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman, said the ambush could have been retaliation for the weak performance of candidates supported by communist rebels in the area.

“Maybe their candidates lost in the elections and they are mad so they attacked those securing the machines,” he said.

Communist rebels have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest—running leftist insurgencies in Asia.

Keywords: Post-poll violence

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