World leaders are hailing key general elections in Afghanistan, saying Afghans have braved Taleban violence in a show of determination to build a peaceful future.

President Bush congratulated the Afghan people and the government for a successful vote. He said it was a major step forward in Afghanistan's development as a democratic state governed by the rule of law.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the extremist elements that once again attempted to disrupt the electoral process have failed.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the completion of the electoral process in Afghanistan was a big step forward on the road to peace and stability, national reconstruction and development.

The European Union, the United Nations and NATO hailed the election and praised those who voted. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the election a defeat for terrorism.

Some information in this story provided by AP and AFP.