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July 30, 2010

Afghanistan, July, 2010

This past month, much of the attention focused on Afghanistan centered on the release of thousands of classified documents from the war effort by WikiLeaks. While the consensus appears to be that nothing significantly new was revealed by the release, the picture painted by the documents remains rather bleak. NATO and the United States now have 143,000 troops in Afghanistan, set to peak at 150,000 in coming weeks as they take a counter-insurgency offensive into the insurgents' southern strongholds. Taliban control remains difficult to dislodge, and once removed from an area, Taliban forces often return once larger forces leave a region, especially in rural areas where local government presence remains small. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (47 photos total)

A U.S. Marine Corps F-18 Hornet aircraft prepares to refuel over Afghanistan July 8, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andy M. Kin/Released)

The tomb of Sultan Mohammed Telai, which was destroyed during the Afghan civil war in 1990's is lit by setting sun on Friday, July 23, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic) #

U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Flynn looks over area maps in his command post at Combat Outpost Terra Nova in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Monday, July 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

Items for sale in the Nader Pashtun Market in Kabul, Afghanistan, where virtually everything comes from China. While the headlines focus on the U.S.-led war against the Taliban, China's spreading global footprint has become highly visible in Afghanistan, and the U.S. is said to welcome it. Photo taken on June 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #

U.S. Army soldiers with Task Force Thor Route Clearance Patrol from 23rd Engineering Company, Airborne detonate an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that they discovered during a day-long route clearance mission July 7, 2010 near Khakriz, Afghanistan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

Master Sgt. Todd Nelson sits for Dr. Joe Villalobos as he makes adjustments to a prosthetic ear at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas on June 23, 2010. Nelson was injured in 2007 by an explosion while serving in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) #

Staff Sgt. Brenden Patterson, a Pararescueman, or "PJ," of the 58th Rescue Squadron, of Las Vegas, scans for threats while sitting in the open doorway, with the door-gunner visible in the background, on a rescue mission aboard a Pavehawk CASEVAC helicopter in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan on Wednesday July 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan Duralde (right) and Sgt. Luis Gamarra of Bravo Troop 1-71 CAV react and hold hands as they fight pain from injuries they suffered from an IED blast as they are transported aboard a MEDEVAC helicopter from Charlie Co. Sixth Battalion, 101st Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Shadow June 25, 2010 near Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

United States Marines from Bravo Company of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Marines fire machine guns for suppression during a gunbattle as part of an operation to clear the area of insurgents near Musa Qaleh, in northern Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, Friday, July 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

A man touches the body of a man who US Army soldiers said fired at them with an AK-47, after he was shot and killed near the village of Samir Kalacheh in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar on July 28, 2010. Though soldiers said they saw three men shooting at them and returned fire, killing one man and injuring another, local people were protesting that the dead man was a farmer from Samir Kalacha village. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

A boy weeps for a man who US Army soldiers said fired on them with an AK-47 was shot and killed near the village of Samir Kalacheh in Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar July 28, 2010. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

An Afghan news reporter stands next to TV screens at Tolo television, owned by Saad Mohseni, the country's biggest media mogul, in Kabul on July 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #

Afghan security personnel stand near the severed head of a suicide bomber at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on July 18, 2010. A suicide bomber on a bicycle detonated explosives in central Kabul July 18, injuring six people, two days before a key international conference in the capital, a government official told AFP. (MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Sgt. Christopher Duke and wife Lauren Duke greet Rufus at PetAirways on Thursday, July 29, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia. Rufus and two other dogs saved Duke's and other soldiers' lives while serving in Afghanistan when on the evening of Feb. 11, 2010, the dogs attacked a suicide bomber trying to enter their barracks, forcing the bomber to detonate his explosives in the entry corridor. Though five of the 50 soldiers present sustained injuries, none died that night thanks to the three dogs. One of the dogs was killed, the other two later recovered from their injuries. Sgt. Duke wrote to a veterans assistance group called "Hope for the Warriors" asking for the dogs to be brought to the United States, and $21,000 was raised in less than 3 months enabling the dogs to leave Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Johnny Crawford) #

An Afghan Army soldier fires a rocket propelled grenade at suspected Taliban militants at Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar July 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

This combination photograph shows portraits of Afghan National Army soldiers following a patrol made on Sunday, July 11, 2010, at the United States Army's Combat Outpost Ware, in the volatile Arghandab Valley, near Kandahar City, southern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

During a helicopter rescue mission, Staff Sgt. Brenden Patterson, an Air Force Pararescueman of the 58th Rescue Squadron, changes the dressing on the hand of an Afghan boy who stepped on an IED which severed his right foot and most of his hand, in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday July 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

Female Afghan students attend Kabul university on July 6, 2010. The change in the status of women in Afghanistan has changed since the Taliban regime where women were forced to wear the burqa in public. The face of a woman was considered a source of corruption for men not related to them. They were not allowed to work and not allowed to be educated after the age of eight and then only permitted to study the Qur'an. Women wanting to be educated were forced to attend underground schools such as the Golden Needle Sewing School and along with their teachers risked execution if caught. They also were not allowed to be treated by male doctors unless accompanied by a male chaperone often leading to illnesses remaining untreated. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

An unidentified member of the NATO-led ISAF keeps watch during a change-of-command ceremony at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul July 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #

A display of bomb making materials is seen outside the dining facility at Wilson Forward Operating Base, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Friday, July 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

7-year old Marco,, the son of Mauro Gigli, one of the two Italian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, cries as the coffin of his father is carried at Ciampino military airport, near Rome on Friday, July 30, 2010. Mauro Gigli and Pierdavide De Cillis were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Wednesday moments after successfully dismantling another such makeshift device. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca) #

Afghans ride pedal boats in the famous Band-i-Amir lakes outside the central Afghan province of Bamiyan during a local annual festival aimed at promoting tourism in the central highlands, in Bamiyan on July 29, 2010. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan men escape increasing summer temperatures by wading in the Qarga reservoir on July 9, 2010 in a suburb of Kabul, Afghanistan. The banks of the lake are visited by picnicking families on Fridays, recognized by many Muslims as a day of rest. Despite the status of women having improved since the end of the Taliban regime Muslim conservative values mean that women are not permitted to bathe in the lake. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

Afghans collect fuel from a tanker shot up in an attack on a NATO supply convoy in Baghlan province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, July 6, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A US soldier of First Platoon Bravo Troop of First Squadron, 71st Cavalry plays a video game inside his tent at a forward operating base in Dand district of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan on July 22, 2010. (MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A United States soldier from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne, has his head shaved by the light of a flashlight at Combat Outpost Ware Sunday July 11, 2010, in Arghandab Valley, outside Kandahar City. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

Mourners react as the repatriation cortege carrying Marine Matthew Harrison of 40 Commando, Lieutenant Neal Turkington, Corporal Arjun Purja Pun and Major Josh Bowman of 1st battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles passes through Wootton Bassett, southern England July 20, 2010. (Major Bowman was pictured in last month's entry, just two weeks before he was killed, shot while he slept by a rogue Afghan soldier). (REUTERS/Kieran Doherty) #

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard alongside an ISAF Chinook helicopter which crashed in an eastern district of Kabul on July 26, 2010. The aircraft made a hard landing along the perimeter of a coalition force camp in Kabul province. Four aircraft passengers received minor injuries with the cause of the crash under investigation. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

U.S. Army Spc. Brad Parrish, of Spokane, Washington, from the 1-320th Alpha Battery, 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, takes fingerprints from an Afghan villager near COP Nolen, in Arghandab Valley, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Monday, July 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

US Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon Charlie Company, 2-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division jump on Lt. Chris Farrington of Pownal, Maine, giving him a "pink belly" on his last day in charge of the platoon at Combat Outpost Terra Nova, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sunday, July 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

Soldiers from 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles patrol through a village in Nahr e Saraj, Helmand on June 30, 2010. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan girl who fixes potholes in a road between Kabul and Bagram and depends on tips from passing motorists, waits for vehicles in Afghanistan, Tuesday, July 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic) #

U.S. Navy Lt. Rodolfo Madrid of Kingsville, Texas, runs out to receive a soldier who was wounded by an IED blast at the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital July 12, 2010 at Kandahar Air Field in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

A U.S. Navy corpsman stands in a pool of blood while tending to a solider that was wounded by an IED blast at the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital July 12, 2010 at Kandahar Air Field in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The hospital, one of the most advanced in the country, recently moved into a modern, custom-built fortified building on the sprawling airbase that serves as the nerve center for the NATO military effort in southwestern Afghanistan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #

An Afghan National Army soldier looks at the camera during vehicle search training instructed by U.S. Soldiers at Combat Outpost Jaghato, Wardak province, Afghanistan on July 14, 2010. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Russell Gilchrest) #

A soldier with an injured ankle from the US Army's 1-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division is assisted past his burning M-ATV armored vehicle after it struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on a road near Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab Valley in this picture taken July 23, 2010. None of the four soldiers in the vehicle were seriously injured in the explosion. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

US Army Staff Sergeant of the Second Battalion, 101 st. Airborne Division Gregory Robinson does his laundry at Wilson Forward Operating Base, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 17, 2010. Robinson lost his leg after an RPG attack outside Kandahar City in 2006. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

Australian soldiers carry a coffin of Pvt. Nathan Bewes at their base in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on July 12, 2010. Bewes died in an improvised explosive device blast in Uruzgan. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic) #

Afghan army soldiers share grapes beside a small canal after arriving to reinforce U.S. troops at Combat Outpost Nolen, in Arghandab Valley, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

An Afghan man checks on bricks at a brick-making factory outside Kabul July 11, 2010. Laborers, most of whom work barefoot and without gloves, earn from $3 up to $8 depending on their working hours and the number of bricks made in a day. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #

U.S. Army SPC Jonathan Meredith is greeted by his girlfriend Kimberly Fricke during a homecoming ceremony for about 140 Soldiers from the 293rd Military Police Company after they returned from a 12-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Fort Stewart, Georgia. The company trained the Afghan police force as well as patrol in an area of Kandahar City in southern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) #

Afghan youths escape increasing summer temperatures by visiting the Qarga reservoir on July 9, 2010 in a suburb of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

A crowd of Afghan protesters clashes with police following Friday prayers in Kabul on July 30, 2010. Scores of Afghans rioted outside the US embassy in Kabul on Friday after a NATO vehicle crashed into a civilian car, killing a number of occupants, officials and witnesses said. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

Capt. Zachary Tegtmeier of Naperville, Illinois with the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division uses the door to a M-ATV vehicle to shield him as he returns fire on attacking militants July 2, 2010 over the village of Joikahr, Afghanistan. Paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne moved on Joikahr in the early morning of July 2 to establish a security watchpost overlooking the town; when they arrived, they found the town deserted of civilians and came under fire from suspected Taliban militants ensconced in the surrounding hills. After several hours of fighting, the paratroopers along with Afghan forces established the outpost on a hill overlooking the village. The U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne along have been working with Afghanistan National Army forces for nearly a year in this combative zone in the far northwest of the country, building relationships and attempting extend the Afghanistan central government rule to this rural and fiercely independent area rife with Taliban insurgents. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

Soldiers with the U.S. Army's 1-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division shield themselves from the dust as a Medevac helicopter takes off outside Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar July 30, 2010. One soldier lost his leg and another was hit by shrapnel after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blew up during a patrol near the base. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

A pair of bloody sunglasses lie on the ground after an IED exploded injuring two US Army soldiers just outside Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar July 30, 2010. (REUTERS/Bob Strong) #

An Army carry team moves a transfer case with the remains of Army Specialist Matthew R. Hennigan, of Las Vegas, Nevada, who died in Operation Enduring Freedom, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on July 2, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images) #

 
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