afghanistan

An Afghan child plays in the outskirts o...An Afghan child plays in the outskirts of Herat on January 23, 2014. Economic development is considered a vital weapon to stop the country from sinking back into civil war and to stem Islamist extremism after 100,000 international combat troops pull out.

Aref Karimi/AFP

A child plays on the outskirts of Herat, Afghanistan. Economic development is seen as vital in stopping the country from sinking back into civil war and in stemming Islamist extremism when 100,000 international troops pull out 

A soldier kisses goodbye during the depa...A soldier kisses goodbye during the departure of over 90 troops from the Eindhoven airbase near Eindhoven, on January 14, 2014, to Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. They will replace the already stationed Dutch F-16's Air Task Force in Kunduz.   AFP PHOTO / ANP / KOEN VAN WEEL   **

Koen Van Weel/AFP

A soldier kisses goodbye as more than 90 Dutch troops depart from Eindhoven airbase for Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, to replace forces stationed in Kunduz.

An Afghan family walks during sunset in

Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images

An Afghan family walks during sunset in Herat on Tuesday. Over a third of Afghans are living in abject poverty, a UN report said.

A member of the Afghan security forces watches burning NATO supply trucks after what police officials say was an attack by militants in the Torkham area...A member of the Afghan security forces watches burning NATO supply trucks after what police officials say was an attack by militants in the Torkham area near the Pakistani-Afghan border in Jalalabad Province December 18, 2013. The attack killed one police officer and wounded three others, according to the police. REUTERS/Parwiz

Pariz/Reuters

A member of the Afghan security forces watches burning Nato supply trucks after what police officials say was an attack by militants in the Torkham area near the Pakistani-Afghan border in Jalalabad Province. The attack killed one police officer and wounded three others, according to the police. 

REUTERS PICTURE HIGHLIGHT...ATTENTION EDITORS - REUTERS PICTURE HIGHLIGHT TRANSMITTED BY 1345 GMT ON DECEMBER 17, 2013    KAB201  Women arrive for treatment at a mobile clinic, provided by the Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA), in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail      REUTERS NEWS PICTURES HAS NOW MADE IT EASIER TO FIND THE BEST PHOTOS FROM THE MOST IMPORTANT STORIES AND TOP STANDALONES EACH DAY. Search for "TPX" in the IPTC Supplemental Category field or "IMAGES OF THE DAY" in the Caption field and you will find a selection of 80-100 of our daily Top Pictures.

Mohammed Ismail/Reuters

Women arrive for treatment at a mobile clinic provided by the Afghan Family Guidance Association, in Kabul 

Aisha carries coal to be used for cooking and heating from a brick-making factory in Jalalabad...Aisha 11, carries coal to be used for cooking and heating from a brick-making factory in Jalalabad December 17, 2013.

Parwiz/Reuters

Aisha 11, carries coal to be used for cooking and heating from a brick-making factory in Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Newly-graduated Afghan midwives attend a commencement ceremony at the Governor's House in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. Some 40 midwives graduated in the ceremony after undergoing a two and half year midwifery programme.

Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Newly qualified midwives attend a commencement ceremony at the Governor’s House in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. About 40 midwives graduated after undergoing a two and half year midwifery programme.

Afghanistan Saffron...epa03968559 A picture made available on 28 November 2013 shows Afghan women collecting Saffron flowers from the feilds in Gozara district of Herat, Afghanistan, 27 November 2013. Saffron has been indicated as an alternative to opium, while the price and demand for it is increasing day by day. Saffron is one of the highly prized spices known since antiquity for its color, flavor and medicinal properties.  EPA/JALIL REZAYEE

Jalil Rezayee/EPA

Afghan women collecting saffron flowers from fields in the Gozara district of Herat. Saffron is prized for its colour, flavour and medicinal properties. It has been indicated as an alternative to opium, and the price and demand for it is increasing. 

Members of the Afghan Loya Jirga attend a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. The four-day meeting will discuss the bilateral security pact that defines the role of thousands of U.S. troops who will remain after the NATO combat mission ends in 2014.

Rahmat Gul/AP

Members of the Afghan Loya Jirga attend a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the US if safety and security conditions are met.

Qudrat, 18, right, poses for a photograph as he works at a charcoal shop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. As winter is approaching, wood and charcoal are getting expensive among all other necessities for most Afghans.

Rahmat Gul/AP

Qudrat, who works at a charcoal shop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.

An Afghan refugee boy and his sister enjoy a ride on an improvised swing, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the U.N. refugee agency, thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services.

Muhammed Muheisen/AP

An Afghan refugee boy and his sister enjoy a ride on an improvised swing, in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the UN refugee agency. Thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. 

Afghanistan women health...epa03930038 Afghan women wait to receive medical treatment at a local hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 October 2013. In rural areas of Afghanistan women are not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor. Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world where poor health conditions and malnutrition made pregnancy and childbirth exceptionally dangerous for Afghan women.  EPA/S. SABAWOON

S.Sabawoon/EPA

Afghan women wait to receive medical treatment at a local hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. In rural areas women are not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor. Afghanistan has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the world. 

Taliban militants surrender their weapons in Herat...epa03920206 Former Taliban militants stand behind an rusty old light machine gun as they surrender their weapons under a US-backed Afghan government amnesty program, in Herat, Afghanistan, 23 October 2013. Hundreds of anti-government militants have so far surrendered to the government under an amnesty program launched by Afghan President Hamid Karzai back in 2004. Taliban-led militants have been waging a bloody war against Afghan and NATO forces for a decade, often infiltrating Afghan security forces and carrying out deadly attacks on NATO and Afghan forces.  EPA/JALIL REZAYEE

Jalil Rezayee/EPA

Former Taliban militants stand behind a rusty old light machine gun as they surrender their weapons under a US-backed Afghan government amnesty programme, in Herat, Afghanistan on Wednesday. Hundreds of anti-government militants have surrendered to the government under an amnesty programme launched in 2004 by Hamid Karzai, Afghan president. 

Afghan boys play on a destroyed car in Kabul...Afghan boys play on a destroyed car in Kabul October 22, 2013.  REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

Boys play on a burnt out car in Kabul, Afghanistan 

Afghan men tend their animals at a livestock market set up for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or "feast of sacrifice," in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 Muslims all over the world celebrate the three-day Eid al-Adha, by sacrificing sheep, goats, cows and camels, to commemorate the Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God's command. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Anja Niedringhaus/AP

Afghan men tend their animals at a livestock market set up for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or “feast of sacrifice”, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Muslims all over the world celebrate the three-day Eid al-Adha, which starts on Monday, by sacrificing sheep, goats, cows and camels, to commemorate the Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, on God’s command. 

An Afghan health worker (2R) administers a polio vaccination to a child on the first day of a vaccination campaign in Herat. A new three-day nationwide immunisation campaign against polio began supported by Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health country wide, officials said.

Aref Karimi/AFP

A health worker administers a polio vaccination to a child in Herat, Afghanistan, at the start of a three-day nationwide immunisation campaign against polio, supported by the country’s Ministry of Public Health

Withdrawal of German troups from Kunduz

Michaela Kappeler EPA

German soldiers walk to a Transall C-160 transport aircraft at the airport of Kunduz, Afghanistan on Thursday. The German Bundeswehr is in the process of terminating its mission in the north Afghan province of Kunduz. The last German soldiers will leave the camp by the end of October after its official transfer to the Afghanistan army and police has been completed.

Men and women attend a meeting for a new political party called Movement for Change in Kabul...Men and women attend a meeting for a new political party called Movement for Change in Kabul, September 26, 2013. Hundreds of men and women gathered to discuss the presidential and parliamentary elections, due in early April next year. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Omar Sobhani /Reuters

Men and women on Thursday attend a meeting for new political party Movement for Change in Kabul. Hundreds of people gathered to discuss the presidential and parliamentary elections, due next April. 

Afghanistan society...epa03872131 Afghan children at their camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, 18 September 2013. Afghanistan's independent human rights commission might lose its "A" status in the upcoming review, which might affect its work and funding, UN and Afghan officials said 17 September. The reason was "the process leading up to the appointment of five new members" of the Afghan rights commission, which was "sufficiently flawed" for it to lose its ìAî status, according to Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.  EPA/S. SABAWOON

S. Sabawoon/EPA

Afghan children at their camp on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission might lose its “A” status in the upcoming review, which might affect its work and funding, UN and Afghan officials said on Tuesday 

An Afghan refugee child drinks water leaking from a public water point on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world.

Muhammed Muheisen/AP

An Afghan refugee child drinks water leaking from a public water point on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world