Prediction of violence by Karzai challenger probed

Afghan authorities are investigating the campaign manager for the top challenger to President Hamid Karzai after a news report quoted him as saying street demonstrations will "turn bad" if his candidate loses the upcoming election, officials said Monday. Abdullah Abdullah's campaign manager, Abdul Sattar Murad, was quoted by the United Arab Emirates-based paper The National as saying that if Karzai wins the Aug. 20 vote "there will be a big demonstration, street demonstrations, and it will turn bad. The country will land in the middle of a crisis." Murad was also quoted as saying his team would not accept a Karzai win because Karzai can win only through "large-scale corruption." Murad told The Associated Press on Monday that the Interior Ministry contacted him about the comments but that he told the ministry he did not say them. However, The National told the AP it had a recording of the conversation and that all quotes were accurate.