Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah is showered with rose petals by supporters as he prepares to speak at a rally in Kabul on July 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO/SHAH Marai
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Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory Tuesday in Afghanistan's disputed election, blaming fraud for putting him behind in preliminary results as fears rise of instability and ethnic unrest.Karzai, who is constitutionally barred from a third term in office, has stayed publicly neutral in the lengthy election, but Abdullah supporters accuse him of fixing the run-off vote in Ghani's favor.Ghani said he would sign up to a U.N.-backed audit of about 7,000 of the 23,000 polling stations, while Abdullah has pushed for about 11,000 stations to be re-checked.Earlier, the United States issued a strong warning over reports that Abdullah would form a "parallel government" in defiance of the results – which said Ghani took 56.4 percent of the vote to Abdullah's 43.5 percent.The insurgents, who see the election as a U.S. plot to control Afghanistan, killed 16 people, including four Czech soldiers, in a suicide bombing north of Kabul Tuesday.
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