to attack voters and polling stations
Vote counting in Afghanistan's second-ever direct presidential election is under way after polls closed following an hour-long extension, officials have said.
The vote on Thursday was marred by a series of attacks across the country that left at least 26 people killed.
Hanif Atmar, the Afghan interior minister, and Abdul Rahim Wardak, the defence minister, told a news conference that nine civilians, nine policemen and eight soldiers were killed in 135 incidents on Thursday.
Atmar said that 28 other soldiers had been wounded and that security forces thwarted five suicide attacks.
Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said the election was conducted "successfully" throughout the country despite Taliban attacks that resulted in deaths of Afghan security forces and civilians.
"The Afghan people defied rockets, bombs and intimidation and came out to vote, that is great," Karzai - the frontrunner of the 30 candidates - told a news conference in his fortified palace.
"Despite problems and intimidation, the elections ended successfully," the president said, adding that armed groups conducted attacks in 15 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. Read more here ...
Source: Al Jazeera(English)