U.N. council congratulates Afghanistan on election

The U.N. Security Council congratulated the Afghan people for participating in nationwide elections on Thursday and condemned the Taliban and al Qaeda for their “violence” and “terrorist” activities.

“The members of the Security Council welcome the holding of the presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan,” the council said in a statement, adding that they “congratulate the people of Afghanistan on their participation.”

It said council members also “condemn the actions of those who sought to deny the voice of the Afghan people by attempting to disrupt the elections … (and) condemn violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, al Qaeda and other extremist groups aimed at destabilizing … the country.”

Millions of Afghans went to the polls on Thursday, defying Taliban threats of violence and sporadic attacks to choose a president in the midst of a worsening war.

The Afghan government said nine civilians and 14 members of the security forces were killed in 135 incidents countrywide on polling day.

Pre-election polls showed President Hamid Karzai, in power since 2001 after a U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban government, was likely to win but not by enough to avoid a run-off against his main challenger, his former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.



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