International community praises Afghan vote

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International community praises Afghan voteAfghan workers of the election commission office unloads ballot boxes from a truck after votes in Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 6, 2014. Across Afghanistan, voters turned out in droves Saturday to cast ballots in a crucial presidential election. 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. (AP photo/Rahmat Gul)(Credit: Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The international community has widely praised Afghanistan for holding national elections that saw a heavy turnout despite complaints about a shortage of ballots and reports of fraud.

Millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats and crowded into mosques and schools being used as polling centers to vote Saturday for a new president and provincial councils. President Hamid Karzai is on his way out, constitutionally barred from a third team after leading the country since after the Taliban were ousted in 2001.

Ballot boxes have been loaded onto trucks and donkeys to be taken to Independent Election Commission facilities where they are being tallied. Officials have said partial results could be released as early as Sunday but caution it is likely to be at least a week before a complete picture emerges.

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