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Karzai votes in Afghan polls

world Updated: Aug 20, 2009 08:59 IST

AFP
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai cast his ballot in the capital on Thursday in a tense election that is expected to deliver him a second term after nearly eight years in power.

Karzai voted about half an hour after polls opened, casting his ballot in a boys' high school near his heavily fortified palace, and afterwards urging Afghans to also go to the polls.

"I request my dear countrymen to come out and cast their vote to decide their future," he said.

Voting alongside him were several key officials, including Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

Karzai has ruled Afghanistan since the extremist Taliban regime was removed from power in a US-led invasion.