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June 1, 2011

Afghanistan, May 2011

The month of May in Afghanistan opened with news of US Navy SEALs killing Osama bin Laden. Suicide bombings claimed lives throughout the country, one injuring the top German commander. Another outside the Italian military base in Herat west of Kabul killed at least five. As the month closed, President Hamid Karzai issued vague warnings against Western airstrikes that cause civilian casualties. Gathered here in our monthly collection from Afghanistan are images of the US military mission and daily life in the country of just under 30 million people. -- Lloyd Young (45 photos total)

n Afghan youth looks on as a US Marine from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company stands guard during a patrol in Kote Tazagul area in Marjah district in Helmand Province on May 24, 2011. US lawmakers saw momentum for political reconciliation in Afghanistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, but voiced fear that the fight against extremism was floundering in Pakistan. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images)

A Afghan security stands guard as a tractor eradicates a field of young poppy plants May 25, 2011, in Argu District, Badakshan, Afghanistan. Local authorities in Badakshan use a tractor to destroy cabbage size poppy plants at their early stages as to lessen the burden on the farmer. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

An Afghan policeman looks on as he stands guard in Kote Tazagul area in Marjah district in Helmand Province on May 24, 2011. US lawmakers saw momentum for political reconciliation in Afghanistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, but voiced fear that the fight against extremism was floundering in Pakistan. ((Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghans watch television coverage announcing the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at a Restaurant on May 2, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Bin Laden has been killed near Islamabad, Pakistan almost a decade after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and his body is in possession of the United States. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

Army flight crew chief Sgt. Robert Terrants is seen through night vision goggles as he stands in an opium field while waiting to medevac a lightly injured Marine in a helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment north of Sangin, in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan, Sunday, May 15, 2011. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

An 18-year-old Pakistani man barbecues skewers of meat at his shop, on May 14, 2011, in Abbottabad, the city where Osama bin Laden was hiding until he was killed in a US raid. Pakistan lawmakers insisted there must be no repeat of the US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden and said drone strikes targeting terrorists near the border with Afghanistan must end. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images #

Doves fly near the Shah-e-Do-Shamshaira (the King with two swords) shrine in downtown Kabul on May 20, 2011. More than 1,700 former Taliban combatants have turned in their weapons to join a reintegration program started by the Afghan government nearly a year ago, the NATO general in charge of the program said. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images) #

Burqa-clad Afghan women walk through a graveyard in the old section of Kabul on May 25, 2011. Despite massive injections of foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains desperately poor with some of the lowest living standards in the world. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images #

US Marines from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company walk during a patrol at Kote Tazagul area in Marjah district in Helmand Province on May 24, 2011. (Massoud Hossiani/AFP/Getty Images) #

US Marines from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company check for identification of an Afghan Local Police (ALP) or Arbaki in the Kote Tazagul area in Marjah district, Helmand Province on May 25, 2011. (Massoud Hossiani/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan poppy farmer, Zareen stands in his poppy field with son Azim, 8, May 25, 2011, in Faizabad, Badakshan, Afghanistan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

A female officer from Officer Candidate School at Kabul Military Training Centre stands next to her bed as high ranking officials from the defense ministry arrives to inspect the school after their graduation ceremony in Kabul May 19, 2011. The female officers graduated after a 20-week course including computer training, human resources training, English classes and marksmanship. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters) #

A detainee with blindfold and handcuffs arrested after an early morning operation by US Marine from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company sits on the ground at Block 9 military camp of Marjah district in Helmand Province on May 23, 2011. US Marines arrested 12 suspects during an operation on May 23 in Shinghazak area, south of Marjah district in southern Helmand province. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this photo provided by ISAF Regional Command (South), US Army 1st Lt. Samuel Toso(right), talks with Mullah Fida Mohammed in Deh Afghanan village, Afghanistan in the village of Deh Afghanan, Afghanistan, to meet with elders on May 27, 2011. (Brian Ferguson/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan painter takes a painted tableau in to his working booth during the late hours of the day in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, May 22, 2011. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press) #

An Afghan man and child wash a truck on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 15, 2011. (Mustafa Quraishi/Associated Press) #

Shabaneh plays with the parallel bars May 10, 2011, as her aunt Somayeh Masroor, 44, takes a rest after she walked with her artificial leg at International Committee Red Crescent Orthopedic Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. Somayeh lost her right leg when she was 13 years old and traveling from Herat to Kandahar while they were caught in a fight between Soviet forces and Mujahedeen in Shajoor and their car hit a landmine off the road. (Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press) #

An Afghan man carries a broken and old sewing machine to sell in Kabul, Afghanistan May 16, 2011. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press) #

Gulsum,12, holds a baby cannabis plant plucked out of the field while she works with her father Ghafordin on May 15, 2011 in Wakhil, in the mountainous upper Panjshir region, Afghanistan. The farmer has been growing cannabis for three years and has seen the prices triple since 2008. This spring he is planting less wheat in order to increase his marijuana crops. Known as the world's largest producer of opium, the raw ingredient of heroin, Afghanistan has now become the top supplier of cannabis, with large-scale cultivation in half of its provinces, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Afghan shepherd Asadullah Daad Mohammad, 12, sleeps on his bed May 10, 2011 at the International Committee of the Red Cross Orthopedic Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. Asadullah lost his legs, left eye and a finger, most likely after he stepped on a land mine while he was out with his goats and sheep in a Paktya province south of Kabul about five months ago. (amran Jebreili/Associated Press) #

Afghan drug users take nap outside of the compound of the National Olympic Stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan May 17, 2011. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press) #

An Afghan man examines rough gems and bargains for a price at the Haji Mohammed Rasul shop at Shams market on May 18, 2011, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The mineral resources of Afghanistan are relatively unexplored even with Afghanistan's mineral wealth of coal, copper, gold and iron ore, with precious and semiprecious stones, including high-quality emerald, lapis lazuli, red garnet and ruby. Given the country's remote and rugged terrain, on-going instability plus an inadequate infrastructure and transportation means that mining is still difficult. While many are trying to bring positive changes, Afghanistan's mining industry uses unregulated, primitive methods and outdated equipment. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Afghan men smoke 'sheesha' under disco lights at the 'Kabul Fried Chicken' fast food restaurant in Kabul, Afghanistan May 11, 2011. (Mustafa Quraishi/Associated Press) #

U.S Army soldiers from Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment warm themselves on fire at Forward Operating Base Edi, in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan May 5, 2011. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

A U.S. Navy combat critical care nurse cares for a wounded Afghan Army soldier who was suffering from stab wounds, on a medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment north of Forward Operating Base Edi, in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan May 15, 2011. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

An injured Afghan boy who suffered severe burns lays on a stretcher in a medevac helicopter from the US Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment on his way to hospital from Musa Qalah, in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan May 11, 2011. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

Men who were injured in Tailban attacks are treated in Mirvays Hospital May 11, 2011in Kandahar, Afghanistan. After the start of their annual spring offensive across the country, hundreds of Tailiban militants have begun to try and overrun several security posts meeting heavy defense from Afghan security forces. ( Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

An Afghan woman and young girl prays after Friday Prayers at the Madinatul-Elm mosque on May 13, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Within many mosques women have separate areas from the men for prayer, however, in many parts of Taliban controlled Afghanistan, women are only allowed to pray at home. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images) #

Afghan boys attend their Quran study sessions at the Islami Noor religious school on May 12, 2011 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Despite recent multiple attacks near the city's downtown, children continue their studies at the school. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

An Afghan woman holds up her baby next to a pole as a friend takes a photo with her mobile phone at the Karti Sakhi shrine on May 13, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images) #

An Afghan girl peers out her house door in the old city of Kabul on May 10, 2011. The Afghan government Tuesday called on Taliban leaders to join peace talks initiated by the government or face the same fate as Osama bin Laden, who was killed by elite US commandos last week. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan woman walks through an alley in the old city of Kabul on May 6, 2011. While Osama bin Laden's death may have little immediate impact on the Afghanistan war, it could bring a political solution closer by opening the door for Western talks with the Taliban, experts said. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan man walks past the ruins of Darul Aman palace, the former house of Afghan King Amanullah, in Kabul on May 7, 2011. The Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks including six suicide bombings on government targets in the major southern Afghan city of Kandahar Saturday, leaving at least 30 people wounded. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #

Italian soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force help a wounded comrade at the site of an attack in Herat on May 30, 2011. Attackers targeted the compound of the Italian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat, western Afghanistan. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images) #

A US Marine Cobra attack helicopter fires diversionary flares as it flies near Forward Operating Base Edi in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan May 8, 2011. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

US Army flight medic Sgt. Jose Rivera from Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment shaves his head while waiting for missions at Forward Operating Base Edi in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan May 8, 2011. (Kevin Frayer/Associated Press) #

An Afghan policeman secures a staircase after gunmen launched an attack at the compound of the governor of Kandahar province in Kandahar on May 8, 2011. Sporadic gun battles raged for a second day in Kandahar on May 8 as Afghan forces fought to snuff out Taliban attacks that have killed 18 people, including 14 insurgents. ( Mamoon Durrani/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan policewomen practices during a training program in Herat police training center on May 4, 2011. President Barack Obama has pledged to begin a withdrawal in July of the roughly 100,000 American troops deployed in Afghanistan, but officials have yet to say how many forces will be pulled out. A shortage of trainers and problems plaguing the Afghan army and police could jeopardize NATO's goal to hand over security to the Kabul government by 2015, a Pentagon report said on April 29, 2011. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghanistan National Army soldier smiles in a compound at US Marine Combat Operation Patrol Bandini of 2nd Batallion 8 Marine Weapons Company 81's Platoon in Sistani, Helmand Province, on May 7, 2011. There are about 130,000 international forces deployed in Afghanistan under the leadership of the United States to defeat a Taliban-led insurgency fighting since the US-led invasion of the troubled nation in 2001. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan youth sharpens a pair of scissors in a roadside shop in Kabul on May 28, 2011. Despite massive injections of foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains desperately poor with some of the lowest living standards in the world. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images) #

Afghan children play on the old military fort, Shah Ara Hilltop, in Kabul on May 29, 2011. Despite massive injections of foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains desperately poor with some of the lowest living standards in the world. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images) #

Relatives of fallen soldiers visit a memorial built by Task Force Kandahar on Kandahar Air Field May 24, 2011. (Cpl Tina Gillies/Task Force Kandahar/handout/Reuters) #

An Afghan boy eyes kites from a hill in Kabul on May 13, 2011. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images) #

US soldiers place lit candles as they gather to mark Memorial Day at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan May 29, 2011. Some U.S. troops in Afghanistan have held a candlelit remembrance for those lost ahead of Memorial Day. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press) #

An Afghan boy is pushed on a child's tricycle down a street in Kabul May 10, 2011. (Mustafa Quraishi/Associated Press)#


 
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