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Karzai leads Afghan vote, run-off indicated

MYT 12:01:15 AM
Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens during a news conference on election day in Kabul August 20, 2009. He maintained a lead over his main rival Abdullah Abdullah in partial election returns released on Monday, but still fell short of the outright majority needed to avoid a run-off. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood)

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai maintained a lead over his main rival Abdullah Abdullah in partial election returns released on Monday, but still fell short of the outright majority needed to avoid a run-off.

With results from nearly half of polling stations counted in the Aug. 20 election, Karzai held 45.9 percent of the vote, against 33.3 percent for Abdullah.

(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/afghanistanpakistan)

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