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Rocket, mortar attacks reported as Afghan cast votes in presidential runoff

Saturday - 6/14/2014, 11:19am  ET

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Militants are making their presence known, but Afghans have been lining up to vote in today's presidential runoff election despite a Taliban warning to stay away from the polls.

Troops have been frisking voters before allowing them into polling stations and searching cars at checkpoints around the capital of Kabul.

In eastern Khost province, near the Pakistani border, a government spokesman says a series of rockets killed six civilians and wounded eight. Also in the east, a mortar shell killed two civilians and wounded three in Logar province. Several other explosions have been reported in Kabul and elsewhere, but those caused no casualties.

Today's runoff is between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank official and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (ahsh-RAHF' gah-NEE' ah-mahd-ZEYE'). Both candidates promise to improve ties with the West and fight corruption as they confront a powerful Taliban insurgency and preside over the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of the year.

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122-a-14-(Abdullah Abdullah, presidential hopeful, with reporters)-"of this country"-Afghanistan presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah says his party guarantees a strong future for Afghan citizens. (14 Jun 2014)

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123-a-11-(Shukria Barekzai (shook-REE'-yah beh-rehk-ZY'), member of Afghan Parliament, in AP interview)-"after today's election"-Shukria Barekzai, a member of the Afghan parliament, says the purple ink on her finger confirming that she voted is an important sign for the future of women in Afghanistan. (14 Jun 2014)

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012-r-09-(Afghan presidential candidate Ghani Ahmadzai, olding up ink covered fingers after voting, says in Pashto: "These fingers, which are used to fire the trigger of guns, are now used to vote. We ask all armed opposition to allow this nation to choose their future.")--Afghan presidential candidate Ghani Ahmadzai, holding up ink covered fingers after voting, says in Pashto: "These fingers, which are used to fire the trigger of guns, are now used to vote. We ask all armed opposition to allow this nation to choose their future." (14 Jun 2014)

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011-a-15-(Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan presidential candidate, with reporters)-"with our team"-Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah says he will work for the people. (14 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO JAB118: Afghan women leave a polling station after casting their votes in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Despite Taliban threats of violence, many Afghans vow to cast ballots in Saturday's presidential runoff vote with hopes that whoever replaces Hamid Karzai will be able to provide security and stability after international forces wind down their combat mission at the end of this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) (14 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO JAB124: An Afghan election worker counts ballots at a polling station in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Afghans brave threats of violence and searing heat to vote in a presidential runoff that will mark the country's first peaceful transfer of authority, an important step toward democracy as foreign combat troops leave. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) (14 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO MAH151: An Afghan woman, right, casts her vote in the presidential runoff at a polling station in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Despite Taliban threats of violence, many Afghans vow to cast ballots in Saturday's presidential runoff vote with hopes that whoever replaces Hamid Karzai will be able to provide security and stability after international forces wind down their combat mission at the end of this year. (AP Photo/Kamran Shefayee) (14 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO MAH148: An Afghan woman shows her inked finger after casting her vote at a polling station in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Despite Taliban threats of violence, many Afghans vow to cast ballots in Saturday's presidential runoff vote with hopes that whoever replaces Hamid Karzai will be able to provide security and stability after international forces wind down their combat mission at the end of this year. (AP Photo/Kamran Shefayee) (15 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO JAB117: An Afghan man casts his vote at a polling station in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Despite Taliban threats of violence, many Afghans vow to cast ballots in Saturday's presidential runoff vote with hopes that whoever replaces Hamid Karzai will be able to provide security and stability after international forces wind down their combat mission at the end of this year. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) (14 Jun 2014)

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