Karzai hails 'success' of Afghanistan elections

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the election was a "success" amid relief that attacks by Taliban fighters were fewer than feared, for a vote that will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power in a country plagued by conflict for decades.

President Hamid Karzai gives address on voting day. Credit: YouTube/ ARG

In a statement after voting closed, President Karzai said: "The Afghan nation today have put in practice their big Jubilee of the nation's participation in voting.

"Despite the cold and rainy weather and possible terrorist attack, our sisters and brothers nationwide took in this election and their participation is a step forward and it is a success for Afghanistan."

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Former opposition leader ahead in Afghan election

Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said initial results based on 10 percent of the vote from 26 out of 34 provinces showed former opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah in the lead with 41.9 percent.