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Mideast

Afghanistan: Nation at a crossroads

/ 80 PHOTOS
Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-SOCIETY

Afghan youth light candles in front of the destroyed palace of Darul Aman to mark the killing of 5000 civilians by the communist regime during the Russian occupation, in Kabul on September 29, 2013. Afghanistan on announced two days of mourning to mark the death of thousands of people killed under the communist regime in 1970s. AFP PHOTO/ Massoud HOSSAINIMASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
Massoud Hossaini / AFP
Image: Afghan security forces recovered 17,900 kilograms of explosives

epa03875959 NATO soldiers take cover behind an armored vehicle as they defuse explosive material, which was recovered during an operation in Ghazni, Afghanistan, 20 September 2013. According to official sources, NATO forces recovered some 17,900kg of explosive materials during a raid in Ghazni on 20 September. EPA/NAWEED HAQJOO
Naweed Haqjoo / EPA
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Afghan miners carry the body of their colleague following a mine collapse in Ruyi Du Ab district of Samangan province on September 16, 2013. The coal mine in a remote area of Samangan province caved in after a gas explosion on September 14, and at least 28 miners were confirmed dead, officials said. AFP PHOTO/Farshad USYANFARSHAD USYAN/AFP/Getty Images
Farshad Usyan / AFP
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Parwan. Parvan. Afghanistan. For Jamieson Lesko story on ex-jihadist warlord Haji Mohammad Almas Zahid.
Wakil Kohsar
Image: Taliban attacked US consulate in Herat

epa03865415 Afghan security officials take positions during a gunbattle with suspected militants, outside the US consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, 13 September 2013. At least three Afghan security officials were killed as Taliban militants claimed the responsibility for the attack. EPA/JALIL REZAYEE
Jalil Rezayee / EPA
Image: Afghan football fans celebrate winning the South Asian Football Federation championship after their team defeated India during the final match, in Kabul

Afghan football fans celebrate winning the South Asian Football Federation championship after their team defeated India during the final match, in the streets of Kabul September 12, 2013. President Hamid Karzai embraced Afghanistan's victorious football team on Thursday, hours after they united the nation in a rare moment of shared joy, but officials also told jubilant Afghans to stop firing guns into the air in celebration. The national men's team beat India 2-0 to win the championship in Kathmandu late on Tuesday, Afghanistan's first international football title, sending tens of thousands of joyous Afghans into the streets. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Omar Sobhani / X02487
Image: Afghan security forces arrive at the site of a suicide attack in Maidan Shar

Afghan security forces arrive at the site of a suicide attack in Maidan Shar, the capital of Wardak province, September 8, 2013. At least four Afghan intelligence agents were killed and more than one hundred people were wounded, the provincial government said in a statement. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY)
Omar Sobhani / X02487
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TOPSHOTS An Afghan farmer works on his farm on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif on September 5, 2013. Only about 15 percent of Afghanistan's land, mostly in scattered valleys, is suitable for farming with about 6 percent of the land actually cultivated with wheat being the most important crop. AFP PHOTO/ Farshad UsyanFARSHAD USYAN/AFP/Getty Images
Farshad Usyan / AFP
Image: Afghan children climb onto a fence while playing as they sell tea in Kabul

Afghan children climb onto a fence while playing as they sell tea in Kabul September 4, 2013. A tea vendor earns $1 on average a day. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
Mohammad Ismail / X02863
Image: Afghans stand near a destroyed car after floods in the Shakar Dara district of Kabul

Afghans stand near a destroyed car after floods in the Shakar Dara district of Kabul August 11, 2013.At least 22 people in Afghanistan were killed and farmland was damaged when flash floods hit a plain near the capital, officials said on Sunday. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: DISASTER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Mohammad Ismail / X02863
Image: An Afghan man washes his horse in Kabul

An Afghan man washes his horse in Kabul August 4, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: SOCIETY ANIMALS)
Mohammad Ismail / X02863
Image: Bomb blast injured 16 civilians including state prosecuter in Jalalabad

epa03812671 Afghan security officials secure the scene of a bomb blast in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 04 August 2013. A remote-controlled bomb exploded targeting the vehicle carrying state prosecutor Abdul Qayoom who was injured along with 16 other civilians in the incident. The UN said recently that the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan had increased by 23 percent in the first half of 2013. EPA/ABDUL MUEED
Abdul Mueed / EPA
Image: AFGHANISTAN-SOCIETY

Afghan men swim in a public swimming pool in Herat on July 20, 2013. Temperatures in Afghanistan cities are approaching the 30 degrees Celsius mark as the summer sets in in Central Asia. AFP PHOTO/ Aref KARIMIAref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
Aref Karimi / AFP
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Afghan men eat and drink tea in an old restaurant ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Kabul on July 7, 2013. Throughout the month, devout Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn until sunset when they break the fast with the Iftar meal. Traditionally, dates are known as the food the prophet Mohammad ate when he broke from his fast. AFP PHOTO / Massoud HOSSAINIMASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
Massoud Hossaini / AFP
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Afghanistan National Army (ANA) soldiers walk with an arrested Taliban fighter (C) at an army station on the outskirst of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province on July 7, 2013. Three Taliban fighters were killed July 7 after their fighters attacked a police check point on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway, officials said. AFP PHOTO / Noorullah SHIRZADANoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Noorullah Shirzada / AFP
Image: Protest to support Egyptian ousted president Morsi in Kabul

epa03776252 Afghan people shout slogans in support of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi while holding posters depicting him, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 05 July 2013. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has called for mass rallies to protest the army's overthrow of Morsi and a crackdown on other senior members of the movement. Adli Mansour, the chief of Egypt's highest court, was sworn in on 04 July as Egypt's interim president after the ousting of Morsi. EPA/S. SABAWOON
S. Sabawoon / EPA
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Afghan security forces arrive near the entrance gate of a NATO compound following a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Militants blew up a suicide car bomb at the gate to the NATO compound in Kabul early Tuesday and attacked guards with small-arms fire, killing four guards and two civilians, police said. All four suicide attackers were also killed. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul / AP
Image: A suicide attacker lies on the ground after his vest was defused in Jalalabad province

A suicide attacker lies on the ground after his vest was defused in Jalalabad province June 30, 2013. Afghan security forces captured a would-be suicide attacker before he blew himself up in Jalalabad on Sunday. REUTERS/Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Parwiz / X02750
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An Afghan policeman (R) keeps watch as schoolgirls walk near the entrance of the Presidential palace in Kabul on June 25, 2013. Taliban militants targeted the presidential palace in Kabul on Tuesday, detonating two vehicles at an entrance to the complex just a week after insurgent leaders opened an office in Qatar for peace talks. AFP PHOTO/ SHAH MaraiSHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
Shah Marai / AFP
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Afghans chant anti-government slogans after burning a truck, believed to be owned by foreigners during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday June 24, 2013. The protests centered around government plans to develop a subdivision in the capital on land that has long been occupied by squatters. Demonstrators blocked two main roads out of the city, and said they would continue their protests until the government gave them somewhere else to live. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul / AP
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This photo was taken on Thursday, June 20, 2013 shows the Taliban flag visible through a gap in a wall of the new office of the Afghan Taliban in Doha, Qatar after the opening of the office several days ago. The United States on Thursday welcomed Qatar's decision to take down a sign that cast the Taliban's new office in Doha as a rival Afghan embassy saying the militant group can't represent itself \"as an emirate, government or sovereign.\" (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
Osama Faisal / AP
Image: Men carry another man who was wounded during a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Men carry another man who was wounded during a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul June 11, 2013. A loud explosion was heard in the Afghan capital Kabul's diplomatic area, and a police source said it was a suicide attack not far from the U.S. Embassy. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) TEMPLATE OUT
Omar Sobhani / X02487
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Afghan security forces stand guard at the site of a suicide attack near Kabul military airport in Kabul on June 10, 2013. All seven militants who launched an attack on June 10 on Kabul airport died in the assault, Afghan police said, adding that no civilian and security force casualties had yet been reported. \"There were seven assailants -- two (suicide bombers) died detonating themselves and five others were killed in fighting,\" Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, chief of Kabul police, told reporters. AFP PHOTO/ SHAH MaraiSHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
Shah Marai / AFP
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TOPSHOTS An Afghan girl stands in the doorway of her house in the old sector of Herat on June 5, 2013. Over a third of Afghans are living in abject poverty, as those in power are more concerned about addressing their vested interests rather than the basic needs of the population, a UN report said. AFP PHOTO/Aref KARIMIAref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
Aref Karimi / AFP
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An Afghan security official is surrounded by the shadows of colleagues as he keeps watch at the scene of an attack in Jalalabad late May 29, 2013. Militants launched a two-hour suicide and gun attack on a Red Cross office in Jalalabad city, eastern Afghanistan, killing one guard, officials said. It was the first time that offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross had been targeted since the organisation began work in Afghanistan in 1987. The assault was the latest in a series of high profile, co-ordinated attacks as insurgents pile pressure on the US-backed government ahead of the withdrawal of 100,000 NATO combat troops by the end of next year. AFP PHOTO/Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Noorullah Shirzada / AFP
Image: Afghan man looks at the dead body of a suicide attacker after he was killed by security personnel in Panjshir

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH An Afghan man looks at the dead body of a suicide attacker after he was killed by security personnel in Panjshir province May 29, 2013. Six Taliban insurgents, some wearing suicide vests, attacked the governor's compound in Afghanistan's fiercely anti-Taliban Panjshir valley on Wednesday morning, killing one policeman, officials say. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) TEMPLATE OUT
Omar Sobhani / X02487
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Afghan police take cover during a gubattle following a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 24, 2013. A suicide bomber struck in the heart of the Afghan capital on Friday, sending a plume of smoke billowing over Kabul and setting up a gunbattle in the second major attack in the city in little over a week, police said. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)
Ahmad Jamshid / AP
Image: Children run away after an explosion in Kabul

Children run away after an explosion in Kabul May 24, 2013. Several large explosions rocked a busy area in the centre of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday with Reuters witnesses describing shooting in the area. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST)
Omar Sobhani / X02487
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Jawed Basharat / AP
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Afghan children peer through a fence that surrounds a swimming pool on a hill overlooking Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 17, 2013. The swimming pool built by the Soviets more then 30 years ago has rarely been used. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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TOPSHOTS US soldiers from the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade and a Polish soldier (C) carry a dog on a stretcher from a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopter during a training drill at Forward Operating Base Ghazni on May 17, 2013. US-led coalition forces are winding down their operations before a scheduled withdrawal of the bulk of their 100,000 troops by the end of 2014, and racing to prepare Afghan forces to take over responsibility for security.. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKARDIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images
Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP
Image: A U.S. soldier arrives to the scene where a suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A U.S. soldier arrives to the scene where a suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, May 16, 2013. A Muslim militant group, Hizb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility for the early morning attack, killing many in the explosion and wounding tens, police and hospital officials said. The powerful explosion rattled buildings on the other side of Kabul and sent a pillar of white smoke into the sky in the city's east. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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An Afghan woman harvests wheat on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 15, 2012. Afghani's harvest wheat to feed their animals. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)
Ahmad Jamshid / AP
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Afghan Police arrive at the site where a police vehicle was hit by a remote control bomb in the Kama district of Jalalabad province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 11, 2013. The bomb killed and wounded several policemen, a local government spokesman said. (AP photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul / AP
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An Afghan refugee fixes his roof as the weather takes a turn for the worst, bringing rain and high winds at a refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 10, 2013. Thousands of Afghans displaced by the war in their own country live in slum-like conditions in refugee camps on the edge of the capital. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 10, 2013. Opium poppy cultivation has been increasing for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high, the U.N. said in a report. Poppy cultivation is also dramatically increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland, the report showed, especially in regions where thousands of U.S.-led coalition troops have been withdrawn or are in the process of departing. The report indicates that whatever international efforts have been made to wean local farmers off the crop have failed. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul / AP
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Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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A foreign youth pops an ollie on her skateboard as Afghan youths gather for The Sound Central Festival at the French Cultural Center in Kabul on May 2, 2013. The Sound Central Festival, now on its second year, is the only event of its kind that takes places in Afghanistan, where music was banned by the Taliban until the end of 2001. AFP PHOTO/ Massoud HOSSAINIMASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
Massoud Hossaini / AFP
Image: Afghan and Foreigner perform in Kabul

epa03684057 Afghan boys cheer as Afghan and foreign musicians perform during 'The Sound Central Festival' at the French Cultural Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, 01 May 2013. The concert is part of a cross-cultural program to increase awareness of music and arts with locals in Afghanistan. During the Taliban regime music and movies were banned across the country as they were considered non-Islamic. EPA/S. SABAWOON
S. Sabawoon / EPA
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An Afghan man visits a wounded relative in the hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Friday, April 26, 2013 after a bus collided with the wreckage of a truck that was attacked by Taliban insurgents in Maiwand district, on the highway between Kandahar and Helmand, Afghanistan,Friday, April 26, 2013. Scores of people aboard the bus were killed in the fiery crash, officials said. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
Allauddin Khan / AP
Image: TOPSHOTS-AFGHANISTAN-SOCIETY

TOPSHOTS A street vendor sells balloons as he walks through the Karte Sakhi cemetary in Kabul, on April 26, 2013. The cemetary, located on the foot of Kabul's TV Mountain, is located near the Karte Sakhi's Shrine the second most sacred place of Shia worship in Afghanistan. AFP PHOTO/Manjunath KIRANManjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images
Manjunath Kiran / AFP
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An Afghan resident stands in her home destroyed by a powerful earthquake in Charbagh village in Nangarhar province on April 24, 2013. Seven people were killed, dozens injured and many homes destroyed when a powerful earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said. AFP PHOTO/ Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Noorullah Shirzada / AFP
Image: Police officers from anti-corruption Shafafiyat unit work on documents at their office in Kabul

Police officers from anti-corruption Shafafiyat unit work on documents at their office in Kabul, April 23, 2013. Afghanistan's security forces are routinely accused of murder, rape and corruption on a grand scale, but the anti-corruption police unit's sole conviction last year was a junior policeman who forged some documents, the head of the unit told Reuters. Picture taken on April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CRIME LAW)
Omar Sobhani / X02487
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US army soldiers along with the soldiers of Afghan National Army (ANA) march from the Forward Base Honaker Miracle at Watahpur District in Kunar province into the fields on the foot of Operating Post Rocky during a joint patrol led by the ANA to mountain OP Rocky to conduct artillery fire training on April 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Manjunath KIRANManjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images
Manjunath Kiran / AFP
Image: Afghans protest against Iran in Herat

epa03666574 Relatives gather beside the body of Afghan men who were allegedly killed by Iranian soldiers while they were crossing afghan-Iran border, during a protest outside the Iranian consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, 18 April 2013. Dozens protesters gathered outside the Iranian Embassy to demonstrate against the alleged killing of nine Afghan men by Iranian soldiers while they were crossing Afghan-Iran border. EPA/JALIL REZAYEE
Jalil Rezayee / EPA
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An Afghan woman waits in a changing room to try out a new Burqa, in a shop at in the old city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 11, 2013. Before the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the Burqa was infrequently worn in cities. While they were in power, the Taliban required the wearing of a Burqa in public. Officially, it is not required under the present Afghan regime, but local warlords still enforce it in southern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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U.S. Black Hawk helicopter arrives to the scene after a NATO helicopter crashed killing two American service members in a field near Gerakhel, eastern Afghanistan, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force said the cause of the crash is under investigation but initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time. It did not immediately identify the nationalities of those killed. But a senior U.S. official confirmed they were Americans. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul / AP
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The lifeless bodies of Afghan children lay on the ground before their funeral ceremony, after a NATO airstrike killed several Afghan civilians, including ten children during a fierce gun battle with Taliban militants in Shultan, Shigal district, Kunar, eastern Afghanistan, Sunday, April 7, 2013. The U.S.-led coalition confirms that airstrikes were called in by international forces during the Afghan-led operation in a remote area of Kunar province near the Pakistan border. (AP Photo/Naimatullah Karyab)
Naimatullah Karyab / AP
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An Afghan army soldier stands guard in the destroyed courthouse in Farah, western Afghanistan, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse Wednesday in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban prisoners in western Afghanistan, officials said. Tens of people, including the nine attackers were reported killed in the fighting. The assault in Farah province was the latest example of the Taliban's ability to strike official institutions despite tight security measures. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)
Hoshang Hashimi / AP
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An Afghan police man offers evening prayers on a hill overlooking Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Afghan President Hamid Karzai held talks Sunday with the Emir of Qatar during a visit to discuss opening a Taliban office in the Gulf state, as a prelude to possible peace negotiations with the militants. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)
Ahmad Jamshid / AP
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Kim Dozier / AP
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US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) shakes hands with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) as US Ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham (L) looks on at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on March 25, 2013. US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Afghanistan on Monday for an unannounced visit, with relations badly frayed by Kabul's recent hostility to US-led military efforts in the country. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Jason ReedJASON REED/AFP/Getty Images
Jason Reed / AFP
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An Afghan prisoner leaves with his belongings from the Parwan Detention Facility after the U.S. military gave control of its last detention facility to Afghan authorities in Bagram, outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, March 25, 2013. The handover of Parwan Detention Facility ends a bitter chapter in American relations with Afghanistan's mercurial president, Hamid Karzai, who demanded control of the prison as a matter of national sovereignty. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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In this Tuesday, March 19, 2013 photo, Afghan men peer through the former window of their destroyed school in the village of Budyali, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Taliban militants attacked the nearby district headquarters in July 2011, then took refuge in the school. The Afghan National Army requested help from coalition forces, who responded with drones, fighter jets and rockets, leaving the school destroyed, according to village elders. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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Afghan boys study at a makeshift school in the village of Budyali, Nengarhar Province, Afghanistan, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Providing education to Afghan boys and girls was a priority after the collapse of the Taliban, who refused to educate girls. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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Afghan men chant \"U.S. special operations forces out!\" as several hundred demonstrators march to the Afghan parliament building to protest against the continued presence of U.S. commandos in Afghanistan's troubled Wardak province, Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 16, 2013. The demonstrators are demanding the release of nine local citizens they believe were detained by the U.S. forces. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Anja Niedringhaus / AP
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An Afghan military officer falls asleep as he attends a graduation ceremony at the National Military Academy in Kabul on March 13, 2013. NATO is aiming to train 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police by the end of 2014 to ensure stability in Afghanistan, but challenges remain. Analysts have warned the country could plunge into another large-scale civil war after the NATO-led force departs by 2015. AFP PHOTO/ SHAH MaraiSHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
Shah Marai / AFP
Image: BESTPIX Sec. of Defense Hagel Makes Suprise Visit To Afghanistan

*** BESTPIX *** KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - MARCH 11: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel steps aboard a C-17 military aircraft as he prepares to return to Washington on March 11, 2013 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hagel ended his three day visit to Afghanistan on Monday, his first as Secretary of Defense. (Photo by Jason Reed-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool / Getty Images Europe
Image: Kabul Bank's former CEO and Chairman sentenced to 5-year jail

epa03610167 Sher Khan Farnoud the former Chairman of Kabul Bank, attends a hearing at a court in Kabul, Afghanistan, 05 March 2013. Khalilullah Ferozi the former CEO and Sher Khan Farnoud the former Chairman of Kabul bank were on 05 March, sentenced to five years in Jail by a special court in Kabul for their involvement in embezzlement of multi-million dollars during their tenure as CEO and Chairman. EPA/S. SABAWOON
S. Sabawoon / EPA
Image: SKI-AFG-CHALLENGE

In this photograph taken on March 1, 2013, Afghan Hazara and visiting foreign ski challengers set off at the start of the Afghan Ski Challenge in the Shahidan Valley of Bamiyan province. Seventeen Afghan ski challengers and twelve foreigners participated in the third annual Afghan Ski Challenge in Bamiyan during which the Afghan Hazara men won the first three positions. AFP PHOTO / Massoud HOSSAINIMASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
Massoud Hossaini / AFP
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An Afghan soldier walks by a damaged bus being pulled by a crane following a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. A man wearing a black overcoat and carrying an umbrella as a shelter against the heavy snow crossed a street in the Afghan capital early Wednesday morning toward an idling bus filled with Afghan soldiers, where he laid down and wiggled underneath. Then he exploded, engulfing the undercarriage of the bus in flames. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
Musadeq Sadeq / AP
Image: Afghan villagers shout slogans during a protest against U.S. special forces accused of overseeing torture and killings in Wardak province

Afghan villagers shout slogans during a protest against U.S. special forces accused of overseeing torture and killings in Wardak province February 26, 2013. More than five hundred men marched through the capital of Afghanistan's restive Wardak province on Tuesday in an outburst of anger against U.S. special forces accused of overseeing torture and killings in the area. A U.S. defence official in Washington said a review in recent months in cooperation with Afghanistan's Defence Ministry and National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency found no involvement of Western forces in any abuse. REUTERS/ Mirwais Harooni (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY)
Stringer/afghanistan / X01347
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Fawad Mohammadi (R) and Jawanmard Paiz, stars of the Oscar-Nominated 'Buzkashi Boys,' arrive on the red carpet for the 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMARJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
Joe Klamar / AFP
Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-EDUCATION

Afghanistan university students study at a dormitory of Nangarhar university on the outskirts of Jalalabad on February 23 2013. Fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan consumes most of the country's resources. Rebuilding the educational system is not a political priority and university students face a lot of problem in their education period of time. AFP PHOTO/ Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Noorullah Shirzada / AFP
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Former Taliban militants attended a ceremony with the Afghan government after handing over their weapons in Herat, Afghanistan, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. About 35 former Taliban militants from Herat province handed over their weapons as part of a peace-reconciliation program. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hoshimi)
Hoshang Hoshimi / AP
Image: AFGHANISTAN-MILITARY-DEFENCE

Afghan National Army officers shake hands with Afghan President Hamir Karzai (C) during a conference at the National Miltary Academy in Kabul on February 16, 2013. Afghanistan has committed to taking full responsibility for its own security after US forces leave, and the White House said Afghan security forces now count 352,000 troops, thanks to a broad NATO training effort. AFP PHOTO/STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
Strdel / AFP
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In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 photo, a female member of Afghan special forces aims her pistol during a training exercise on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan's army is training female special forces to take part in night raids against insurgents despite cultural taboos as foreign combat troops take the backseat ahead of their eventual departure at the end of 2014. In a country where women traditionally are expected to stay home, their participation in the special forces is breaking new ground in ultraconservative Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
Musadeq Sadeq / AP
Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-US-NATO-CIVILIAN-CHILDREN

A wounded Afghan boy receives treatment at a hospital in Kunar province on February 13, 2013. A NATO air strike killed 10 civilians, mostly women and children, in a raid on a Taliban hideout in a remote region of eastern Afghanistan, local officials said. \"Five children, four women and a man were killed in the raid,\" Kunar provincial governor, Sayed Fazulullah Wahidi, told AFP. AFP PHOTO/ Namatullah KaryaNamatullah Karyab/AFP/Getty Images
Namatullah Karyab / AFP
Image: A model presents an Afghan traditional dress at a fashion show, launched by Young Women for Change, in Kabul

A model presents an Afghan traditional dress at a fashion show, launched by Young Women for Change (YWC), in Kabul February 8, 2013. The YWC organization is made up of volunteers across Afghanistan, who organize events to help empower Afghan women and improve their lives through social and economical participation. The creations at the fashion show are designed by Afghan women. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: FASHION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Omar Sobhani / X02487
Image: AFGHANISTAN-CRIME-PROTEST

Afghan men chant for justice and punishment for kidnapping gangs involved in the killing of a boy during a demonstration in Herat on February 2, 2013. Thousands of Afghan men and women on Saturday gathered in western Afghanistan to protest the killing of 10-year old boy, the son of a businessman. About 4,000 to 5,000 protesters mostly businessmen, city's shopkeepers, civil society members protested outside Herat governor's office, chanting for justice and punishment for kidnapping gangs involved in killing of a boy. AFP PHOTO/Aref KarimiAref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
Aref Karimi / AFP
Image: A member of the Afghan National Army provides security with a soldier from the U.S. Army during a patrol near Command Outpost AJK in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province

A member of the Afghan National Army provides security with a soldier from the U.S. Army's Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment during a patrol near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Andrew Burton / X02815
Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-EDUCATION

Afghan school children study at an open classroom in the outskirts of Jalalabad on January 30, 2013. Afghanistan has had only rare moments of peace over the past 30 years, its education system being undermined by the Soviet invasion of 1979, a civil war in the 1990s and five years of Taliban rule. AFP PHOTO/ Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Noorullah Shirzada / AFP
Image: Afghan security forces run on the roof of the Kabul traffic police headquarters as it is attacked by insurgents in Kabul

Afghan security forces run on the roof of the Kabul traffic police headquarters as it is attacked by insurgents in Kabul January 21, 2013. A coordinated attack involving at least three suicide bombers and a powerful car bomb took aim at the headquarters of the Kabul traffic department on Monday, followed by a clash between at least one insurgent and security forces, police said. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Omar Sobhani / X02487
Image: A soldier from 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry surfs the internet during down time at Strong Point DeMaiwand, Maywand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

A soldier from 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry surfs the internet during down time at Strong Point DeMaiwand, Maywand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY)
Andrew Burton / X02815
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An Afghan midwife attends her graduation ceremony at the governor's house, in Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Over 52, midwives graduated after receiving 2 year of training in Jalalabad. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul / AP
Image: Suicide bomb attack in Kabul

epa03538714 A man who was injured in a suicide bomb attack, that was targeting the office of Afghan Intelligence agency, leaves the scene, in Kabul, Afghanistan, 16 January 2013. Reports state that six Taliban suicide bombers attacked Afghanistan's National Security Directorate office on 16 January, in downtown Kabul, injuring more than 30 people, most of whom were civilians, police said. One of the bombers exploded himself at the gate and rest were killed by the Afghan security forces before they would enter. EPA/S. SABAWOON
S. Sabawoon / EPA
Image: Panetta Hosts Afghan President Hamid Karzai At The Pentagon

ARLINGTON, VA - JANUARY 10: President of Pentagon Memorial Fund James Laychak (2nd R) touches the banch of his brother David Laychak as he and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L) accompany Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a visit at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial January 10, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. Karzai is on a visit in Washington, including a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, to discuss the continued transition in Afghanistan and the partnership between the two nations. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong / Getty Images North America
Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-US-PRISON

Governor of the Afghan province of Nangarhar Gul Agha Sherzai (R) shakes hands with former Afghan prisoners during a ceremony in Jalalabad on January 3, 2013, after their release from Bagram Prison. Some twenty prisoners were released of whom were allegedly working with the Taliban, officials said. AFP PHOTO/ Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Noorullah Shirzada / AFP
Image: TOPSHOTS-AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-POVERTY

An Afghan man looks on for a portrait at a refugee camp in Herat on January 2, 2013. Hundreds of families living in makeshift shelters around the Afghan capital Kabul collected blankets, charcoal and other supplies on January 2 as authorities struggle to avoid last year's deadly winter toll. With temperatures dropping to -10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) at night in the city, the 35,000 refugees who live in the snow-covered camps face a battle to survive dire conditions protected only by plastic sheeting. AFP PHOTO/ Aref KarimiAref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
Aref Karimi / AFP
Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-NEW YEAR

NATO troops from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) look on during celebrations on New Year's Eve right before the start of 2013 in Kabul on December 31, 2012. Thousands of NATO troops across Afghanistan celebrated the new year away from their homes. AFP PHOTO/ Massoud HOSSAINIMASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
Massoud Hossaini / AFP
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