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Obama praises Afghans for turning out to polls

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has called the Afghan presidential election an "important step forward" for a country that has seen violence and instability for decades.

Obama praised the Afghan people for turning out to vote in Thursday's election "in the face of intimidation" from the Taliban. Obama said the United States "knew that the Taliban would try to derail this election," but said it failed. He said the United States would await the results with the rest of the world.

He gave his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan before boarding Marine One for a flight to the presidential mountaintop retreat at Camp David, Md.

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