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Afghanistan swears in new president

Monday, September 29, 2014 - 00:31

Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as Afghanistan's first new president in a decade amid tight security. Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Afghanistan inaugurated its first new president in a decade on Monday, swearing in technocrat Ashraf Ghani to head a power-sharing government just as the withdrawal of most foreign troops presents a crucial test. The first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan's history has been far from smooth: the deal for a unity government was cobbled together only after months of deadlock over a vote in which both Ghani and opponent Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory. The inauguration marks the end of an era with the departure of President Hamid Karzai, the only leader Afghans have known since a U.S.-led invasion in 2001 overthrew the Islamist Taliban that had given sanctuary to al Qaeda. Already-tight security was heightened around the capital Kabul ahead of the inauguration for fear Taliban insurgents might try to disrupt the ceremony or attack international dignitaries who flew in to attend. A suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint near the airport in Afghanistan's capital on Monday, minutes before Ghani was sworn in, a member of the security forces said. There were casualties and a Reuters witness saw dead bodies at the scene. It was not clear how many people had been killed and wounded.

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Afghanistan swears in new president

Monday, September 29, 2014 - 00:31