Over 1 million votes counted: Afghan poll officials

First row: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, third from left, Taliban political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, right, Former National security adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar and other participants of the “intra-Afghan” talks pray during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. The U.S. has promised to withdraw half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April, a Taliban official said Wednesday, but the U.S. military said it has received no orders to begin packing up. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Kabul, Sep 29 (IANS) Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced that 1,51,998 votes cast during the presidential election have been counted so far, the media reported on Sunday.

On Saturday, millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats and used their rights to vote inthe presidential election to elect the war-torn country’s new leader amid tight security.

It was the fourth presidential election in Afghanistan since 2001, when the Taliban regime was ousted from power.

Over 9.4 million eligible voters, 35 percent of them women, were registered to cast their votes.

IEC Officials said that polling took place in a total of 4,905 centres, and the numbers from 2,308 polling stations were yet to be tallied, reports TOLO News.

A total of 15 candidates are in the fray, including incumbent President Ashraf Ghani, who is seeking a second term in office, and his Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Efe news reported.

Ahead of the election, the Taliban said they would boycott the poll process claiming that they were a farce orchestrated by the US.

Two Taliban attacks took place on Saturday.

In Kandahar province 15 people were injured when an explosion hit a polling centre, while four persons were killed in an attack in Kunduz city.

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