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Afghan commission disqualifies 16 candidates from running for president in April election

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Afghan police arrive to secure the area after a car bomb detonated outside an ISAF civilian personnel compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Oct 18, 2013. Police said the assault started at dusk when a car exploded near the gate of a compound, housing contractors from various countries, European diplomatic personnel and United Nations employees. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) (The Associated Press)

Afghanistan's election commission has disqualified 16 minor candidates from the race for the country's next president but all the top favorites easily qualified to run in the April vote.

The Independent Election Commission said Tuesday the 16 were eliminated because of improper documents and other violations.

IEC chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani says they have 20 days to appeal the commission decision.

Nuristani says this leaves 10 in the race, out of 26 candidates who originally applied to contest the election.

The 10 include political heavyweights such as Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother and several former warlords.

The April 5 vote could determine the future course of Afghanistan and the level of foreign involvement here after 12 years of war.