Afghan challenger Abdullah says polls rigged

KABUL (Reuters) - The main challenger to President Hamid Karzai in last week’s Afghan elections said on Sunday he had evidence the ballot had been widely rigged.

“The initial reports we are receiving are alarming,” Abdullah Abdullah told a news conference three days after the election.

“There might have been thousands of violations throughout the country, no doubt about it,” he said.

Counting is underway following Thursday’s vote, but official preliminary results are not expected until at least Tuesday.

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai was expected to win the ballot, according to polls, but perhaps not by enough to prevent a second-round run off against Abdullah.

Reporting by Paul Tait; Editing by Jerry Norton