Afghans defy rain, fears of violence to vote

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The Afghan election chief has cast his ballot, launching nationwide elections for a new president and provincial councils that is taking place amid heavy security.

Men and women lined up more than an hour before the polls opened, defying fears of violence as the Taliban have threatened to disrupt the vote.

Independent Election Commission chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani urged all Afghans to vote on Saturday as he marked his ballot live on television.