KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 18 - Afghans flocked to the polls today to vote in the country's first democratic parliamentary elections in 35 years.
Although there were scattered attacks around the country, the gunmen who have been trying to subvert the elections did not succeed in preventing the voting. The crucial question facing the country is whether warlords who once ruled by force will succeed in convincing Afghans to vote them into elected office. [SNIP]
More than a dozen violent incidents, including rocket attacks and small arms fire, rattled the country overnight and this morning, said a Defense Ministry spokesman, Gen. Zaher Azimi. Reports of voter intimidation and tussling among the supporters of rival candidates came in from across the country. [SNIP]
"I came for my country and for a better future," said Alem, 25, a fruit seller who goes by one name like many Afghans and one of scores of men and women lined up under flags and bunting in the main mosque of Kabul's old city. "We will have a good future with a Parliament. They should serve us well and bring some prosperity and security."