afghanistan

A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul carries chairs as he prepares for an election rally in Panshir, northern Afghanistan, March 28, 2014. Afghan presidential elections will be held on April 5.

Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

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 Mazar-I-Shariff...Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul prepare to leave after an election rally in Mazar-i-Shariff, northern Afghanistan March 27, 2014. The Afghan presidential election will be held on April 5. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Ahmad Masood/Reuters

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.

In this Wednesday, March 12, 2014 photo, school children pass by a graffiti reading, "ballot not bullet" on their way back home on the outskirts of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. Warlords with a violent past have played a role in influencing Afghan politics since a U.S.-led coalition helped oust the Taliban in 2001. But they are emerging to play an overt political role in next monthís presidential elections as President Hamid Karzai leaves the scene. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Anja Niedringhaus/AP

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 in front...Danny Berube holds his son Jaxx in front of him during welcoming ceremonies for the last Canadian troops to leave Afghanistan, as they returned to Canadian soil, in Ottawa, Ontario on March 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ Cole BurstonCole Burston/AFP/Getty Images

Cole Burston/AFP

Danny Berube holds his son Jaxx during welcoming ceremonies for the last Canadian troops to leave Afghanistan, as they returned to Ottawa, Ontario. 

Afghan women line up to have their picture taken to register for the upcoming presidential elections in a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Last minute registration of voters continues despite the fact that more than 21 million voter registration cards have 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. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Anja Niedringhaus/AP

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 Field Marshal Mohammed Qasim Fahim outside his house in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, March 10, 2014. Afghanistan's influential Vice President Fahim, 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. He was 57.

Anja Niedringhaus/AP

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.

Massoud Hossaini/AP

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.

U.S. Soldiers Provide Security Around Kandahar Airfield...KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - MARCH 03:  SPC Alfredo Vigil II from Woodlake, California with the U.S. Army's 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment patrols through a Kuchi village on March 3, 2014 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.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Scott Olson/Getty

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. 

A soldier from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, grabs his rucksack following a homecoming ceremony in the Natcher Physical Fitness Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky. About 100 soldiers returned to Fort Knox after a nine-month combat deployment conducting village stability operations and working alongside Afghan military and police forces.

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 (ANA) soldier looks out from the windshield of an armoured car at the Forward Base in Nari district, near their army outpost in Kunar province, February 24, 2014. 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. The government sent reinforcements to the area where the pre-dawn attack took place, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said in a statement. At bottom is a picture of Afghanistan s President Hamid Karzai.

Omar Sobhani/Reuters

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 Afghan internally displaced mother holds her children as she sits on the ground at her home in a poor neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.

Massoud Hossaini/AP

An internally displaced mother holds her children as she sits on the ground at her home in a poor neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan 

TOPSHOTS An Afghan balloon vendor walks ...TOPSHOTS An Afghan balloon vendor walks along a street in Kabul on February 18, 2014. Some nine million Afghans or 36 percent of the population are living in "absolute poverty" while another 37 percent live barely above the poverty line, according to a UN report. AFP PHOTO/Nicolas ASFOURINICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

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. 

An Afghan man pushes his cart at Shuhada...An Afghan man pushes his cart at Shuhada Lake in Kabul on February 10, 2014.   Afghanistan's economy is recovering from decades of conflict but despite the significant improvement in the last decade it is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid.   AFP PHOTO/ Wakil KohsarWAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images

Wakil Kohsar/AFP

An Afghan man pushes his cart along the shore of Shuhada lake in Kabul, Afghanistan

An Afghan child warms herself near a traditional "sandali" stove at her family's home in Herat on February 7, 2014. As winter sets in across Central Asia, many Afghans struggle to provide adequate food and shelter for their families.

Aref Karimi/AFP

An Afghan child warms herself near a traditional sandali stove at her family’s home in Herat, Afghanistan, on Friday. As winter sets in across Central Asia, finding adequate food and shelter is a struggle for many Afghans.

An Afghan resident walks during snowfall in Kabul on February 6, 2014. The Afghan capital has experienced its second heavy snowfall of the winter.

Shah Marai/AFP

An Afghan resident walks during snowfall in Kabul on Thursday. The Afghan capital has experienced its second heavy snowfall of the winter.

Afghan children play Ghursai, a traditional boy's game

Noorullah ShirzadaNoorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Children play Ghursai, a traditional boy’s game, in the countryside on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province in Afghanistan 

ALTERNATE CROP - In this Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 photo, Afghan refugee girl, laiba Hazrat, 6, poses for a picture, while playing with other children in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the worldís largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting their country has undergone. Since the 2002 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, some 3.8 million Afghans have returned to their home country, according to the U.N.ís refugee agency.

Muhammed Muheisen/AP

Afghan refugee, laiba Hazrat, 6, in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities of hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the wars and fighting in their country. 

Afghan children weave a carpet at a traditional carpet factory in Herat.

Aref Karimi/AFP

Afghan children weave a carpet at a traditional carpet factory in Herat.

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.