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U.S. Calls Syrian Vote A 'Disgrace'

President Bashar al-Assad (center) and his wife Asma al-Assad (R) cast their votes at a polling station in Damascus on June 3.
The United States has called Syria's presidential vote a "disgrace."

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf accused the regime of Bashar Assad regime of killing the "very electorate it purports to represent and protect."

Syria has been in the grips of civil war for three years with more than 160,000 killed.

No balloting took place in areas not controlled by forces loyal to Assad.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the election a "farce."

In the vote, Assad faced two opponents, a first for Syria, where the Assad family has ruled for decades.

However, Assad was expected to easily win a third seven-year term.

Voting was extended a few hours on June 3 due to a high voter turnout, the electoral commission said.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP