Apr. 5 - Voters in Afghanistan take part in landmark presidential election in defiance of Taliban threats. Paul Chapman reports.
Women turn out in force In the Afghan province of Herat to vote in Saturday's presidential election. It's a landmark for Afghanistan - the first democratic transition of power since the fall of the Taliban 13 years ago. Herat's been a battleground for women's rights and these voters weren't being deterred by Taliban threats to disrupt the polls. (SOUNDBITE) RAHILA JAN, HERAT RESIDENT, SAYING: "As an Afghan woman I've come here to cast my vote and choose my future. I'm not scared of any threat. I ask all Afghan women to come and vote." (SOUNDBITE) BEBI MASOOD, HERAT RESIDENT, SAYING: "I'm participating in the vote because it's my right and I urge all women around the country cast their votes." In Kandahar, cradle of the Taliban insurgency, voting was also underway with no word of violence. The Taliban says the vote is a U.S.-backed sham and had threatened bombings and assassinations to disrupt it. They also said civilians who took part would be targeted. In the capital, Kabul, too, polling appeared to take place in relative calm. The city's been sealed off from the rest of the country by roadblocks and checkpoints. The United Nations special representative to Afghanistan says the turnout is a tribute to the nation. (SOUDNBITE)(English) UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR AFGHANISTAN JAN KUBIS SAYING: "Despite problems, despite challenges, despite threats and intimidation, you decided in good numbers, according to the preliminary reports, to come and vote for your future." If no candidate gets more than 50 per cent of the vote there'll be a run-off next month. Ultimately it could take until October for the final result to be announced.