Kabul: Taliban Threats Scared Voters - Insurgents Killed 26 Afghans

" * JASON STRAZIUSO and ROBERT H. REID,Associated Press Writers KABUL (AP) - Taliban threats scared voters and dampened turnout in the militant south Thursday as Afghans voted for president for the second time ever. Insurgents killed 26 Afghans in scattered attacks, but officials said militants failed to disrupt the vote. After 10 hours of voting, including a last-minute, one-hour extension, election workers began to count millions of ballots. Initial results werent expected for several days. A top election official told The Associated Press he thinks 40 to 50 percent of the countrys 15 million registered voters cast ballots — a turnout that would be far lower than the 70 percent who cast ballots for president in 2004. Low turnout in the south would harm President Hamid Karzais re-election chances and boost the standing of his top challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. Turnout in the north appeared to be stronger, a good sign for Abdullah."