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UN Chief, Karzai Urge Deal On Afghan Unity Government

President Hamid Karzai
President Hamid Karzai

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Afghanistan's feuding presidential candidates to agree on a unity government amid growing fears of postelection violence.

The September 9 appeal came after candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would not accept the results of an internationally monitored audit of the 8.1 million ballots cast in the June runoff vote.

Lingering differences between Abdullah and rival candidate Ashraf Ghani ahead of audit results have dimmed hopes of a power sharing deal the two had agreed under a U.S.-brokered deal.

Meanwhile, a remembrance ceremony for assassinated anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Masud devolved into raucous shouting by Abdullah’s supporters after outgoing President Hamid Karzai urged agreement on a new national unity government.

Abdullah was a close associate of Masud, who was killed by an Al-Qaeda bomb two days before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP