An Afghan worker prepares candies at a factory in Herat, Afghanistan on Wednesday. The nation’s economy has improved significantly since 2002 due to billions of dollars in international aid and investments.
A boy carries election material to polling stations inaccessible by road in Shutul, Panjshir province, Afghanistan. Presidential elections will be held on Saturday.
A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah attends the final day of election campaigning near Kabul. Elections are to be held on Saturday
Girls wave flags at a campaign rally for Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, in Herat. The flags read “number 1” , Abdullah’s number on ballot papers. Eight candidates are campaigning for the country’s third presidential election, to be held on April 5.
A boy waves presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul’s election campaign flag in Bagram, Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Afghan children play in the old part of the northwestern city of Herat. Presidential candidates have been holding rallies across the country for the upcoming presidential elections on April 5, to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai.
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai listen to his campaign address during a political rally in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Monday. Afghans will go to the polls on April 5 to choose a new President.
Voters queue to receive their polling cards, for the upcoming presidential election in Afghanistan, at a registration centre in Herat on Monday. Presidential candidates held large outdoor rallies five days ahead of elections that have been shaken by Taliban attacks.
A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul carries chairs as he prepares for an election rally in Panshir, northern Afghanistan. Afghan presidential elections will be held on April 5.
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul prepare to leave after an election rally in Mazari Sharif in northern Afghanistan. The Afghan presidential election will be held on April 5.
School children pass a graffiti reading “ballot not bullet” on the outskirts of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. Warlords with a violent past have played a role in influencing Afghan politics since a US-led coalition helped oust the Taliban in 2001. But they are emerging to play an overt political role in next month’s presidential elections as President Hamid Karzai leaves office.
Danny Berube holds his son Jaxx during welcoming ceremonies for the last Canadian troops to leave Afghanistan, as they returned to Ottawa, Ontario.
Women in Afghanistan line up to have their picture taken at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan to register for presidential elections. Last-minute registration of voters continues despite more than 21 million voter registration cards having been issued while only roughly 12 million Afghans are eligible to vote. The discrepancy is the result of repeated registrations since the first round of elections in Afghanistan in 2004.
An Afghan honour guard stands next to pictures of late Afghan vice-president Mohammed Qasim Fahim outside his house in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday. Afghanistan’s influential vice-president, a leading commander in the alliance that fought the Taliban who was later accused with other warlords of targeting civilian areas during the country’s civil war, died on Sunday of natural causes. He was 57.
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah throw shredded paper on his head as they welcome him during a campaign rally in Deh Sabz district on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. Eleven Afghan presidential candidates are campaigning in the presidential election scheduled for April.
SPC Alfredo Vigil II from Woodlake, California with the U.S. Army’s 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment patrols through a Kuchi village near Kandahar, Afghanistan. Kuchis are Afghan Pashtun nomads. President Obama recently ordered the Pentagon to begin contingency planning for a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai or his successor refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement.
Luke Sharrett/Getty Images
A soldier from the US army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, grabs his rucksack following a homecoming ceremony in the Natcher Physical Fitness Center in Fort Knox, Kentucky. About 100 soldiers returned to Fort Knox from Afghanistan after a nine-month combat deployment
An Afghan National Army soldier looks out from an armoured car at the Forward Base in Nari district, near their army outpost in Kunar province on Monday. The Afghan Taliban killed 21 soldiers in the assault on Sunday in the remote mountainous region, the Afghan government said, and six soldiers were missing after the militants’ most deadly assault on the security forces in months.
An internally displaced mother holds her children as she sits on the ground at her home in a poor neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan
An Afghan balloon seller walks along a street in Kabul. About 9m Afghans, or 36% of the population, are living in ‘absolute poverty’ while another 37% t live barely above the poverty line, according to a UN report.