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Elections in Afghanistan

Millions of Afghans went to the polls yesterday, defying Taliban threats of violence and occasional terrorist attacks across the country; they were voting for a president in the midst of a worsening war.br /”The Afghan people dared rockets, bombs and intimidation and came out to vote,” President Hamid Karzai told a news conference after polls closed.br /Two Taliban fighters were killed in the capital and rockets fell on several towns, mainly in the south and east, but violence tapered off during the day. Apparently there were 73 attacks in 15 of the country’s 34 provinces.br /Despite grave security concerns, the security situation was adequate to allow the people to vote. br /Pre-election polls showed Karzai, in power since 2001, to be the likely winner but not by enough to avoid a run-off against his main challenger, his former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. The election is generally a referendum on Karzai, a real coalition builder who’s personally liked by most Afghans, but also widely blamed for his government that’s corrupt, ineffective, and entirely dependent on international aid. Stay tuned for results.

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