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December 29, 2010

Afghanistan, December, 2010

2010 has been the deadliest year yet for coalition troops in Afghanistan, with 709 troops killed, 497 of those from the U.S. American officials have spoken of a fragile progress, with a possible small drawdown of troops starting next summer, keeping 2014 as the goal date for Afghans to take control. The United Nations released a report saying that more than 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed and more than 3,800 injured in the first 10 months of 2010, with 76% of these casualties being caused by "anti-government elements". The report also shows deaths and injuries caused by "pro-government forces" (U.S. and NATO troops, Afghan army and police) accounted for 12% of civilian casualties, an 18% drop from the same time period last year. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)

Sergeant Sheena Adams, 25, US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II works late into the night on her laptop on her reports on November 12, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan. There are 48 women presently working along the volatile front lines of the war in Afghanistan deployed as the second Female Engagement team participating in a more active role, gaining access where men can't. The women, many who volunteer for the 6.5 month deployment take a 10 week course at Camp Pendleton in California where they are trained for any possible situation, including learning Afghan customs and basic Pashtun language. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Door Gunner Petty Officer Richard Symonds of the Royal Navy wears a Santa Claus outfit as he delivers mail and presents to troops around Helmand province on December 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Crown Copyright) #

This picture taken on October 21, 2010 shows the filming for an episode of "Separ", the first television series on Afghan police, in a remote village of the Shamali Plains, some 20 km north of Kabul. Separ, the project, financed by the European Union and Canada, aims to improve the image of the Afghan police, often seen as ineffective and corrupt by the population. More than 300,000 Afghan police and army are to take over responsibility for the entire country's security by the end of 2014 from the 140,000 foreign forces deployed in the country. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan girl watches during a cricket game on the school grounds in Kabul on December 28, 2010. Afghanistan is set to select its first ever national women's cricket team in the coming weeks. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A US soldier from 595th Sapper Company 2nd Engineers Battalion blows up some used or unexploded rockets, smoke grenades and mortars in an abandoned house in Loya Derah village during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 28, 2010. US Army soldiers patrol the abandoned villages in Zari district to re-clear the area from the explosives as the Afghan villagers have started moving back to their homes. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A security guard working for private armored car company Tiger International holds up a photo of his colleague who was killed during a raid by NATO forces on the Tiger International office in Kabul December 27, 2010. Afghanistan's NATO-led force disputed on Monday an Afghan government accusation that foreign forces had violated a security pact by conducting a night raid in Kabul in which two guards were killed. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #

Brig. Gen. William "Tim" Crosby presents a flag to Kitaira Jarvis, 11, daughter of Army Sgt. Barry Jarvis, 36, at Deer Creek Baptist Church in Tell City, Indiana on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Jarvis, a member of the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, was one of six soldiers killed on Nov. 29 in Afghanistan when a rogue Afghan border policeman turned his gun on his American trainers as the group headed to shooting practice. (AP Photo/The Evansville Courier & Press, Molly Bartels) #

An Afghan girl carries water in a plastic container as she ascends a slope on the way towards her house in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

US Marines from 1st Battalion 8th Marines watch a US Marine CH-53 helicopter drop flares as it leaves Musa Qala in Helmand province on December 14, 2010. (MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Lance Corporal Kristi Baker,21, US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II stands guard while on patrol as dust fills the air on November 15, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley, 22, US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II takes a nap before being sent out on a mission to Kunjak on November 12, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

An Afghan woman clad with a burqa listens to speeches during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. Several hundred demonstrators, some holding photographs of the victims of three decades of war, shouted for justice and peace Friday in the Afghan capital, just hours before a suicide car bomber blew himself up in the east killing two civilians. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #

An Afghan artist removes rubbish in front of her graffiti in an industrial park in Kabul December 19, 2010. A group of women in burqas rises from the sea to symbolize cleanliness. (REUTERS/Omar Sobhani) #

Taliban fighters man a checkpoint in an undisclosed location in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Dec. 13, 2010. A Taliban commander on the ground said that they were checking the traffic looking for people working for the Afghan government, for non-governmental organizations or who work at the US military bases. (AP Photo) #

U.S. Marine Corps First Lt. William Donnelly's widow, Linsey Donnelly (left), weeps while holding the American flag that covered his casket as she sits with 1st Lt. Donnelly's father William Donnelly III, mother Vicky Donnelly, sister U.S. Navy Lt. Melissa Weed and Chaplain Lt. Johnathan Bush during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery December 14, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. Donnelly died November 25th while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

Army paratroopers carry the casket of Private Howard at the Wellington Cathedral on December 21, 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand. Private Howard was serving with the British army when was killed by friendly fire from a US Air Force plane in Helmand Province, Afghanistan earlier this month. Private Howard is the fifth NZ-born soldier to be killed in action in Afghanistan. (Marty Melville/Getty Images) #

A leg, part of a suicide bomber, is seen on the ground after a suicide attack in Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. A suicide car bomber targeted a Police Checkpoint Governor Spokesman said. Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says a suicide attack in the country's volatile east has killed two civilians. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #

Pfc. Nikolai Starr from San Antonio Texas of 2nd Platoon Bravo Company 2-327 smokes as he patrols in the Chowkay district of Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) #

Afghan soldiers run for cover as a bomb explodes during a gunbattle on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

The body of a suspected Taliban fighter lies on the road after a gunbattle on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. Teams of militants assaulted the Afghan army in the north of the country and in the capital killing at least 10 members of the security forces on Sunday, officials said. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

Afghan people watch at the site of a suicide bombing in Kabul on December 19, 2010. Two suicide bombers attacked an Afghan army bus on December 19, 2010 morning in Kabul killing five army personnel and wounding another nine, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Students line up to honor Marine Mike Geary, a 2009 graduate of Pinkerton Academy who was recently killed in Afghanistan, during a funeral procession drive by at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter) #

U.S. soldiers are silhouetted by a spotlight as they watch a performance by an entertainment troupe comprised of U.S. soldiers at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

An Afghan girl looks on as she stands next to a shop in a poor neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 20, 2010 (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

US sergeant Jesse Frederick from 595th Sapper Company 2nd Engineers Battalion prepares to blow up an Improvised Explosive device (IED) found by an Afghan villager outside the US JFM camp during a walking patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 29, 2010. US Army soldiers patrol the abandoned villages in Zari district to re-clear the area from the explosives as the Afghan villagers have started moving back to their homes. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan worker stands at a brick kiln on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. An average worker can earn $200 to $300 a month. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

1st Lt. Chris Stafford of Fairfax, Vermont, center, is hugged by his daughter Ella, left, on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 in South Burlington, Vermont. About 300 Vermont National Guard soldiers returned Thursday after a yearlong mission. Nearly 1,500 Vermont soldiers have been gone for about a year, spending nine months in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) #

US staff sergeant Andrew Morales from Alpha Troop 1-75 Cavalry 2nd Brigade 101st Airborne Division jumps over a wall during a foot patrol in the Siah Choy village in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 21, 2010. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Actor Robin Williams watches from the backstage area during during a "Holiday Troop Visit" by US celebrities at Kandahar Air Field on December 16, 2010. Williams, together with Lance Armstrong and Lewis Black attended the event. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

US sergeant Jesse Frederick from 595th Sapper Company 2nd Engineers Battalion leaves a room after inspecting for possible explosives in an abandoned house in Loya Derah village during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 28, 2010. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan Shia Muslims mark the Day of Ashura by striking themselves with knives till they become bloody, on December 16, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The day of Ashura is a national holiday on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. Men take part in a ritual beating of themselves as they mourn the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images) #

US soldiers from Alpha Troop 1-75 Cavalry 2nd Brigade 101st Airborne Division warm themselves around a bonfire at the Sabloghay Camp in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 19, 2010. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Officers from the Afghan National Army NCOs (non-commissioned officers) sing during a graduation ceremony in Kabul December 22, 2010. 376 Afghan NCOs graduated at a ceremony at the Camp Ghazi on Wednesday in Kabul. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood) #

A U.S. Marine with multiple gunshot wounds to the right arm, at left, winces in pain as a flight medic applies a tracheal airway tube to Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua T. Twigg, 21, of Indiana, Pennsylvania, who suffered a severe gunshot wound to the upper chest, which was fatal, aboard a U.S. Army Task Force Shadow medevac helicopter en route at top speed to a field hospital, in southern Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. Despite the efforts of medics on the ground and in the air, Twigg's wounds were too severe, and he was pronounced dead by doctors shortly after arrival at an advanced Role 3 U.S. Army field hospital. Photo released on December 5th, 2010. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

Pfc. Nikolai Starr from San Antonio, Texas, looks through his vehicle's window with a bullet hole in Chowkay district near the Pakistani border in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan on Dec. 23, 2010. The 101st Airborne Division, a force in America's major conflicts since World War II, is seeing its worst casualties in a decade as the U.S. surge in Afghanistan turns into the deadliest year in that war for the NATO coalition. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) #

Relatives gather over the covered body of a child who was killed by a bomb in Kandahar on December 15, 2010. A bicycle bomb killed three children and wounded six civilians in southern Afghanistan on December 15 at a temporary camp for pilgrims returning from Mecca. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) #

Spc. Charles Moore, left, of Angleton, Texas, along with Spc Andrew Vanderhaeghen of Rochester, Minnesota, of 2nd Platoon Bravo Company 2-327 return fire upon a sudden attack by Taliban on Combat Outpost Badel in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border on Christmas Day, Saturday, Dec 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) #

A US soldier walks into a dining room at Bagram Air Base, some 50 km north of Kabul on December 24, 2010. (MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spanish soldiers carry construction materials and equipment for the establishment of the new Observation post Echo in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan on Dec 16th, 2010. (ISAF Public Affairs) #

A handcuffed Afghan detainee (center) sits in a military vehicle while transported from Talib Jan Patrol base in Musa Qala district in Helmand province on December 21, 2010. (MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images) #

US Sergeant Matthew Templet from the 627th Security Forces Squadron, Joint Base Lewis McChord and Basco from Patrol Explosive Detector Dog (PEDD) of the US Air Force, search for explosives in an abandoned house in Haji Ghaffar village during a clearance patrol in Zari district of Kandahar province on December 27, 2010. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Veronica Ortiz Rivera kneels beside the casket of her husband U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Javier Ortiz Rivera during his funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery on December 2, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. Rivera, from Rochester, New York, was reportedly killed November 16, 2010 during combat operations in Afghanistan. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) #

A French soldier from the 2nd RIMA (Regiment Marine Infantry) stands guard at Forward Operating Base Tora at Surobi province on December 25, 2010. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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