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Afghans Vote in Droves, Defying Taliban Threats, Violence

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghans have defied Taliban threats as well as rain to vote in presidential and provincial elections today.

They turned out by the millions, lining up at schools and crowding mosque courtyards to cast their ballots.

While a feared wide-scale disruption of voting didn't materialize, the interior minister says scattered violence left 20 people dead in a span of 24 hours - 16 Afghan security forces and four civilians.

Dozens of planned polling centers didn't open because of rocket and gunfire attacks. In one district a bomb exploded in a school packed with voters, wounding two men.

Still, turnout was so high that some polling centers ran out of ballots, and voting was extended by an hour to accommodate those still in line.

Final results are not expected for a week or more, though partial results could come as early as Sunday.

With eight presidential candidates on the ballot, a runoff is widely expected.


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