Abdullah Abdullah, one of the 41 candidates for the upcoming Afghan presidential election, waves to his supporters in Charikar city of Parwan province, north of Kabul on July 26, 2009. Afghanistan's presidential election is on Aug. 20. Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images.

Abdullah Abdullah greets supporters in Charikar, north of Kabul, on Sunday. (Massoud Hossaini / AFP/Getty Images © 2009)

By Mark Memmott

Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan's first foreign minister following the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, is the strongest challenger to President Hamid Karzai in their nation's Aug. 20 presidential elections, Morning Edition's Renee Montagne reports from Kabul.

And as Renee says, Abdullah is making sure voters know he was a close aide to the late Gen. Ahmad Shah Massoud, a legendary freedom fighter and anti-Taliban leader who was assassinated by al-Qaeda operatives on Sept. 9, 2001:

Renee adds that the emotional rallies held for Abdullah in recent days signal that he's struck a chord with many voters, including many young people.

For another fascinating story about the upcoming election, see this Associated Press report: "3,000 Burros To Bear Burden Of Afghan Ballots."

Yesterday, NPR's Jim Wildman reported about the communist-era songs that are popular at some campaign rallies.

categories: Afghanistan, Foreign News

8:10 - July 28, 2009