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Afghanistan Rejects Facebook Ban Amid Election Tensions

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The Afghan government has rejected a proposal to ban Facebook during the current election crisis.

Fayeq Wahedi, a deputy presidential spokesman, told AFP the decision was made during a National Security Council meeting on July 6.

Last week, senators urged the government to ban Facebook until a new president was sworn in, saying it was inflaming ethnic tensions.

Social media has become a stage for hate speech between supporters of candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

The inflammatory language has had ethnic undertones.

Ghani attracts support from Pashtuns in the south and east, while Abdullah's loyalists are Tajiks in the north -- echoing the ethnic divisions of the civil war in the 1990s.

Preliminary results of the election are expected on July 7.

But Abdullah has said he will not accept the results, claiming widespread fraud committed in favor of Ghani.

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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