[Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan; August 20. Image via Getty]

A burqa-clad Afghan woman casts her vote at a polling station in Mazar-e-Sharif on August 20, 2009, during voting for Presidential elections. Afghans voted to elect a president for the second time in history with officials saying turnout was healthy despite sporadic violence by Taliban militants determined to sabotage the ballot. A deadly shoot-out erupted in Kabul after gunmen pierced a massive security cordon, and security fears depressed participation in parts of the south where the Islamist militia exerts a fearsome sway. Minor attacks were reported elsewhere, including in Kandahar in the south, which was the capital of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime, but Afghan and UN officials said voting appeared to have got off to a peaceful start. AFP PHOTO/Keith BEDFORD (Photo credit should read Keith Bedford/AFP/Getty Images)