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Afghan voters turn up for runoff election despite Taliban threats

By Kyle Johnson,

Voters in Afghanistan once again visited the polls on Saturday for the country's runoff election, despite threats from the Taliban.

The Taliban has tried to interrupt the presidential elections in the country, but were unable to scare away voters the first time and appear to have once again failed, reports Reuters. Election commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani said that the same number of voters as last time went to the polls this time.

Nuristani said, "Turnout in today's election was estimated more than seven million," which is impressive since Afghanistan has 12 million eligible voters.

To win the first round of elections, candidates needed at least 50 percent of the vote, but none were able to pass that bar, so a runoff election was held between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. The winner of this election will succeed current-President Hamid Karzai.

According to NBC News, insurgents attempted to attack polling sites using bombs and firearms. Deputy interior minister for security Gen. Ayub Salangi said that 21 people were killed because of the attacks.

Nineteen Taliban fighters were also killed, while more than 100 civilians and security personal suffered injuries.

Despite the violence, voters appeared happy they had a chance to vote on the country's leadership. "Under the Taliban, we even have not seen the picture of the guy who was ruling us, but now we have the power to choose our president," voter Ghulam Rasoul said. "It is a great day and I feel empowered."

 
 

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