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Kerry: Afghan presidential candidates agree to audit

Both candidates in the Afghan presidential election have agreed to abide by the results of a comprehensive audit of the second round of the Afghan presidential vote, according to US secretary of state John Kerry.

Kerry said the United Nations would supervise the investigation into the results of the second round of the Afghan presidential vote which has been deadlocked since the June 14.

Both Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have disputed the results but Kerry said they will respect the audit which will be carried out in the country's capital Kabul and take 24 hours to complete.

Read: Kerry: Afghan presidential vote needs to be 'resolved'

Kerry: Afghan presidential vote needs to be 'resolved'

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said all of the reports of fraud and irregularities in the second round of the Afghan presidential vote need to be resolved.

The election run-off between the leading contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, has been deadlocked since the June 14 vote, raising concerns in Washington about a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan just as US troops are withdrawing.

Abdullah Abdullah has declared he was the winner of last month's run-off vote, despite preliminary results showing that Ashraf Ghani won the second round.

Read: Kerry: US to cut Afghan aid if candidate 'grabs' power

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Kerry: US to cut Afghan aid if candidate 'grabs' power

Financial and military aid to Afghanistan would be cut if any party tries to seize power illegally, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

The warning comes after Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah claimed he was the winner of last month's run-off vote, despite preliminary results showing that Ashraf Ghani won the June 14 second round.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned aid to Afghanistan will be cut if any party tries to seize power illegally.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened to cut aid to Afghanistan if any party tries to seize power illegally. Credit: Reuters

Thousands of Abdullah's supporters gathered in Kabul with some suggesting his camp should declare victory and form a parallel government.

“I have noted reports of protests in Afghanistan and of suggestions of a ‘parallel government’ with the gravest concern,” said Mr Kerry in a statement during a trip to Asia.

Read: Abdullah claims victory in Afghan presidential vote **

Abdullah claims victory in Afghan presidential vote

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has declared he was the winner of last month's run-off vote, despite preliminary results showing that Ashraf Ghani won the June 14 second round.

Abdullah rejected the outcome, saying the process was "marred by widespread fraud".

A placard shows presidential candidate in Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah. He claims he is the winner of last month's run-off vote.
A placard shows presidential candidate in Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah. He claims he is the winner of last month's run-off vote. Credit: PA

He has accused president Hamid Karzai, who is stepping down after 12 years in power, of helping rig the vote in favour of Ghani.

Thousands of Abdullah's supporters have gathered in Kabul with some claiming his camp should declare victory and form a parallel government.

Taliban attack kills four Nato soldiers in Afghanistan

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack eastern Afghanistan today that killed four Nato servicemen, 10 Afghan civilians and two Afghan policemen.

An initial statement from local police said that at least six soldiers had been killed but this was later revised down to four by the International Security Assistance Force.

Ziaul Rahman Sayedkhili, a senior police officer in the eastern province of Parwan where the attack took place, said that a suicide bomber on a bicycle struck while the Nato servicemen were investigating a recent rocket attack on the US military base in the province.

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Nato troops killed in friendly fire incident 'are American'

The five soldiers killed earlier today in a 'friendly fire' incident are American, a US defence official has told Associated Press.

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BREAKING: Defense official says 5 NATO soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan attack are American.

More: 'Friendly fire' kills Nato troops in southern Afghanistan

'Friendly fire' kills Nato troops in southern Afghanistan

The five Nato service personnel killed in southern Afghanistan were involved in an apparent 'friendly fire' incident, the international coalition has said.

"The casualties occurred during a security operation when their unit came into contact with enemy forces. Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved. The incident is under investigation." Nato said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said they were not British personnel. Most of the forces operating in the area are from the United States.

Nato: Five service personnel killed in Afghanistan

Nato has said that five military personnel have been killed in southern Afghanistan, the Associated Press have reported.

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BREAKING: NATO says 5 service members have been killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan.

There were no details as to the location of the incident or the nationality of those involved. It is coalition policy for home countries to identify their own military dead.

Obama: We are finishing the job we started

President Obama announced plans to greatly reduce the number of US forces in Afghanistan, to conclude combat missions in the country this year and to end the US military commitment by the end of 2016.

Read: Obama announces Afghanistan withdrawal

The president acknowledged that US forces had been in Afghanistan for longer than expected, but said they were now at the stage to plan to "finish the job we started."

Obama: Not US responsibility 'to make Afghanistan a perfect place'

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