Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai cast his vote at a polling station at the sprawling presidential palace today early morning after polling opened in landmark parliamentary and local elections.
While he threw his vote on the ballot box, he pointed out:
"I am very happy that the people of Afghanistan are able, after 30 years of pain and suffering, to elect their representatives," said the president, who viewed Afghans' participation in the first legislative vote in 30 years as a matter of pride.
In a brief chat with journalists, he voiced satisfaction at the quality of ink applied to his finger. "This time around, the ink is indelible," said the president while looking at his finger. Karzai assured the elections would be free, fair and transparent.
The US-backed leader hailed voting day as a day of self-determination for the Afghans, saying they were creating history after 30 years of wars, interventions, occupations and misery.
He went on to remark: "It is a matter of great happiness, thank God, that today the people of Afghanistan are electing their national assembly and provincial council delegates."
Late Saturday night, he described the vote as a "turning point" in the history of the post-conflict country. He appealed for a higher voter turnout in the elections, marking the culmination of the Bonn process.
In a brief televised message to the Afghan nation, he underscored the election of honest candidates committed to the reconstruction and prosperity of Afghanistan and imbued with a genuine desire for serving the war-weary nation, which is still struggling to chart its way to stability.
Five killed/ two U.S solder wounded
Three suspected Taliban rebels and two Afghan policemen were killed last night in a conflict. Two US soldiers also wounded in this clash in the southeastern province of Khost.Local police chief has said that the firefight was start by a Taliban attack on a police checkpoint next to a coalition military base in Yaqubi district.
UN office aimed in Kabul
As Tabliban warned already that they will attack in the polling stations. Today morning, two rockets landed in front of the UNAMA office soon after initiation of polling today morning.
Officials, confirming the daring attack in the high-security capital, said a guard was injured by one of the rockets, fired from Butkhak area around 7:00AM.
As a police official pointed out that the attack was launched from mountains south of Kabul. He said only one of the rockets exploded wounding the security guard. The rockets landed exactly in front of UNAMA office east of Kabul, close to Poll-e-Charkhi.
Sep 18, 2005