Local Afghan police cadets take a window seat at their graduation ceremony at a police training centre in Mazar-i-Sharif, the fourth-largest city of Afghanistan, on Thursday. Afghan police have been killed and injured since March 21 this year in what would be an astonishing rate of about 22 a day. Afghanistan’s 350,000-strong security forces have experienced a steep rise in attacks as the Nato combat mission winds down
Afghan girls from the Mobile Mini Circus Children (MMCC) pose for pictures during a show in Kabul. Afghanistan‘s Mobile Mini Circus for Children would have been heretical under the Taliban, when music was banned by the Islamic fundamentalist movement and girls were forbidden from performing in public and going to school. But today the circus, founded by Danish dance instructor David Mason to teach co-operation and creativity to children scarred by years of war, is one of only a few such projects expanding in the country.
Afghans protect themselves from dust in Kabul on Friday
A former Taliban fighter looks on during a ceremony after joining Afghan government forces in Herat on Wednesday. About 100,000 foreign combat troops, 68,000 of them from the US, are due to leave by the end of 2014, and NATO formally transferred responsibility for nationwide security to Afghan forces a week ago.
An Afghan policeman on Tuesday talks to a civilian standing behind a door near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul. Taliban insurgents including a suicide bomber in a truck killed six people in the attack on a foreign logistics and supply company in the city.
Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images
An Afghan security force stands guard as an ambulance arrives near the entrance gate of the presidential palace in Kabul on Tuesday after Taliban militants targeted the palace and the CIA office.
Afghan local police attend their graduation ceremony in Laghman Province on Monday. Afghan forces took control of security across the country on June 18, marking a milestone as US-led troops prepare to withdraw after 12 years of fighting the Taliban.
Iraqi citizens are searched before casting their votes during the country’s provincial elections in Fallujah, Iraq, on Thursday. Iraqis in two Sunni-dominated provinces voted Thursday in provincial elections marked by tight security measures that left streets in former insurgent strongholds largely deserted
After recently returning from Pakistan, Afghan refugees wait during the registration process at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees center near Kabul, Afghanistan, as they prepare to go back to their province after fleeing civil war and Taliban rule. World Refugee Day, initiated by the United Nations to raise awareness on the plight of refugees worldwide, is observed on June 20 every year.
An Afghan amputee practices walking with her prosthetic leg at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul.
Afghan children play at a government kindergarten on Tuesday. Tens of thousands of children in Afghanistan, driven by poverty, work on the streets of the war-torn country’s cities and often fall prey to Taliban bombings and other violence, as well as abuse
Smoke rises from the International Red Cross building after a two-hour gun battle between security forces and an insurgent at a guest house in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. A senior Afghan official said security forces rescued seven foreigners working for the charity
Defence personnel in Afghanistan inspect the scene following a suicide attack in Bazarak district, Panjshir province, on Wednesday. Afghan security forces killed six suicide bombers who attacked the governor’s office, officials said, in an assault in one of the most stable areas of the country
An arrested Taliban fighter is displayed to the media in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, on Tuesday. Suspected Taliban militants killed seven police in southern Afghanistan after persuading the officers to invite them into their checkpoint for dinner, officials said. A total of 14 Afghan police and soldiers have died over the past two days as Taliban insurgents increased attacks as part of their annual spring offensive, which started last month.
Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul in Afghanistan. Opium poppy cultivation has been increasing for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high, the UN said in a report. Poppy cultivation is also increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland, the report showed, especially in regions where thousands of US-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.
Supporters of Imran Khan, Pakistani politician and former cricketer, stand next to his electoral poster at the venue of an election campaign meeting by his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI), or Movement for Justice party, in Islamabad on Thursday. Mr Khan is due to make an address at the final rally by live video link from his Lahore hospital bed, following his fall from a makeshift lift during a meeting on Tuesday. The election this Saturday will be a democratic milestone in a country that has been ruled for half its history by the military, but the Pakistani Taliban have condemned it as un-Islamic