KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Across Afghanistan, voters turned out in droves Saturday to cast ballots in a crucial presidential election.
The Taliban threatened to target voters and polling places, but there were few instances of violence. Instead, those wanting to cast ballots joined long lines and expressed pride for security forces guarding the election and a willingness to stand up for their country.
“There was a time when we could not even think of risking our lives for one vote,” said Abdul Baki, a 36-year-old government employee in Kandahar. “But now with this security so tight, I can clearly see the value of these votes and I hope that this election will be fair.”
Women also turned out in large numbers.
“I voted so I can guarantee the future of my country,” said 18-year-old Fatima Mortazayee in Kabul. “By voting, we can build our country.”
The vote will decide who will replace President Hamid Karzai, who is barred constitutionally from seeking a third term. Partial results are expected as soon as Sunday.
Here’s a gallery of Associated Press images of voting Saturday in Afghanistan.
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