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Image: Afghanistan

In Focus

Slain photographer's portraits of war-torn Afghanistan

AFP photographer Shah Marai was one of nine journalists killed Monday in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan's capital.

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Image: AFGHANISTAN-UNREST-ATTACK-FUNERAL

Shah Marai was rushing to the scene of a bomb attack Monday in Kabul when a second bomb hit, killing him and eight other journalists. 

The bomber appeared to have deliberately targeted members of the media, pretending to be a journalist before detonating his explosives while among them.

Marai joined Agence France-Presse as a driver in 1996, the year the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, and began taking pictures on the side, covering stories including the U.S. invasion in 2001. In 2002, he became a full-time photo stringer, rising through the ranks to become chief photographer in the Kabul bureau. He leaves behind six children, including a newborn daughter.

Here's a small selection of Marai's images as he witnessed a troubled nation's setbacks on the road to peace. 

Left: Friends and relatives of Shah Marai gather at his burial in Gul Dara, Kabul, on Monday.

Andrew Quilty / AFP - Getty Images
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Men wait to take part in ritual self-flagellation with chains to celebrate the Muslim festival of Ashura at a mosque in Kabul on Jan. 15, 2008.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Afghan National Army officers march during a graduation ceremony at the Ghazi Military Training Center in Kabul on March 31, 2011.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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A man casts his vote at a polling station in Kabul on March 31, 2011.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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A Hazara Afghan woman walks past the ruins of the ancient Buddha statues that once stood in the city of Bamiyan on Aug. 1, 2010.

The statues were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 in a drive to demolish all pre-Islamic icons.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Children play soccer in Kabul on Nov. 23, 2014.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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A health worker administers the polio vaccine during a vaccination campaign in Kabul on Feb. 28, 2017.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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An Afghan boy carries a sheep  at a livestock market ahead of the sacrificial Eid al-Adha festival in Kabul on Sept. 22, 2015.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: FILES-AFGHANISTAN-BOMBINGS-CONFLICT

Afghan commandos walk down a road near the Kabul police headquarters  after a clash between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters on Jan. 21, 2013.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: FILES-AFGHANISTAN-BOMBINGS-CONFLICT

An Afghan man looks down at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Jan. 26, 2014.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: FILES-AFGHANISTAN-BOMBINGS-CONFLICT

A boy sells balloons in Kabul on Feb. 7, 2013.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Women attend an election rally for Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah in Jalalabad on Feb. 18, 2014.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: AFGHANISTAN-RELIGION-RAMADAN

Boys play on a swing prior to iftar, the time to break fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan, in Kabul on June 28, 2016.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: TOPSHOT-AFGHANISTAN-SOCIETY

A man leads his cows in Daykundi Province on May 11, 2016.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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An amputee practices walking with her prosthetic leg at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul on April 3, 2016.
Shah Marai / AFP-Getty Images
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Image: AFGHANISTAN-DEFENCE-MILITARY

An Afghan military officer nods off as he attends a graduation ceremony at the National Military Academy in Kabul on March 13, 2013.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: TOPSHOTS-AFGHANISTAN-SOCIETY

Children who work as water vendors search for customers at the Kart-e-Sakhi cemetery in Kabul on Jan. 12, 2015.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: An Afghan man aims a sling shot toward US soldiers at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Quran desecration.

An Afghan man aims a slingshot toward U.S. soldiers at the gate of Bagram Airfield on Feb. 21, 2012, during a protest triggered by reports that copies of the Quran had been burned at the base.

The U.S. apologized for the destruction of the Qurans and said the burnings were unintentional.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: TOPSHOTS

A boy cries on the outskirts of Kabul on Oct. 4, 2011.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: AFGHANISTAN-BOMBINGS-CONFLICT

Shah Marai with one of his young sons in Kabul in 2013.

Related: Journalists among the dead as Kabul blast kills 22

Ben Sheppard / AFP - Getty Images
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