United Nations, Sep 19 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has lauded Afghan citizens for their "courage and determination" as they turned up in large numbers to vote Saturday despite the Taliban threatening to disrupt polling.
"The secretary-general commends women and men of Afghanistan for their courage and determination in exercising their democratic right to vote during the parliamentary elections," Xinhua quoted Ban's spokesman as saying.
The UN chief noted that the participation of over 2,500 contestants, including 400 women, as significant for the Afghan civil society.
"He also commends the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces to protect the people of Afghanistan during this democratic exercise, which took place in more than 5,000 polling centres countrywide," the spokesman said in a statement Saturday.
The secretary-general condemned the reported acts of violence and expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives due to various attacks aimed at disrupting the polls.
The is the second parliamentary polls in the country since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.