KABUL (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday moved into a clear lead in the race for the presidency, with 48.6pc of the vote, according to partial results. Afghan officials announced results from 75pc of the polling stations used in only Afghanistans second direct presidential election, held on Aug 20 and overshadowed by claims of massive fraud and low turnout. Out of 4.3m valid votes, Karzai won 2.08m and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah 1.36m (31.7pc), Independent Election Commission (IEC) official Daud Ali Najafi told a news conference. Najafi said results from 447 polling stations had been cancelled because of irregularities. The independent Election Complaints Commission (ECC) has received more than 2,000 complaints about fraud and vote-rigging, about a third of which it has said could alter the final result. The results have been delayed by the IEC, which has veered from its original timetable under which preliminary results were to be released between September 3 and 7. An IEC spokeswoman said Sunday she had no idea when the preliminary results would be released. Final results are due on September 17. The commission on Saturday cancelled the release of the latest tranche of results blaming technical problems. Throughout the laborious process of piecemeal announcements, the two main contenders for the presidency have each claimed victory. Abdullah has warned on Saturday that state-engineered vote fraud could fuel instability and Taliban insurgency and urged international community to intervene. We have insecurity in this country. We have bad government. We have corruption. We have narcotics. We have a war. We have an insurgency, Abdullah told a news conference in Kabul. He said a rigged election would hand another excuse to the increasingly deadly insurgency against the Western-backed Afghan authorities and foreign troops. There have been fears that the results could effectively divide the country. Abdullah has his power base in the north, among ethnic Tajiks, while Karzai is influential in the Pashtun-dominated south. Nato and Western allies have stressed in recent days their long-term commitment to keeping troops in Afghanistan to fight a resurgent Taliban, despite concerns about fraud and low turnout in the elections. A Nato airstrike in northern Kunduz province on Friday, which officials said killed scores of people, revived controversy over Western military operations that kill civilians as well as the intended insurgent targets. A local official said 54 people had been killed in the strike, as well as another two who were murdered by Taliban militants just before. The international military meanwhile denied reports that an investigation into the air strike had found it was ordered in breach of Nato rules.