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February 22, 2013

Afghanistan: February 2013

US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan began in earnest in 2011 with President Obama's announcement in June. 10,000 troops were removed by the end of summer 2011, 23,000 additional troops by the end of summer 2012, and troops continue to come home at a steady pace as Afghan security forces move to protect their own country. The mission changes from "combat" to "support." By 2014, that transition will be complete with the Afghans responsible for their own security, but US troops will remain in country. How many is unclear. In this post, we share images from February in country (and a few from January 31st.) -- Paula Nelson ( 36 photos total)

Afghan ethnic Hazara people hold a hunger strike, in protest against a bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, which killed scores of Shiites, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 19, 2013. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press)

An Afghan cook prepares kebabs at a busy market in downtown Kabul, Feb. 19, 2013. Insurgent attacks on Afghan government employees soared by 700 percent last year even as the overall 2012 civilian death toll from the war fell for the first time in six years, the UN said, Feb. 19. Targeted killings of women in government service by Taliban-led insurgents were "particularly disturbing", the UN mission in Afghanistan said in its annual report on civilian casualties. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)#

Burqa-clad Afghan women and labourers with wheelbarrows walk down a lane in Kabul, Feb. 19, 2013. (Shah MaraiSHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)#

A "zamburdar" or beekeeper inspects a rack of honey bees on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Feb.16, 2013. The economy of Afghanistan can be categorised as poor and unstable as it lacks proper industrialization, there is a lack of well-developed manufacturing and infrastructure facilities, and it is dependent on foreign aid and assistance. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)#

Afghan National Army officers pose for pictures with Afghan President Hamir Karzai during a conference at the National Miltary Academy in Kabul, Feb. 16, 2013. Afghanistan has committed to taking full responsibility for its own security after US forces leave, and the White House said Afghan security forces now count 352,000 troops, thanks to a broad NATO training effort. (/AFP/Getty Images)#

An Afghan man arrives to a cockfight with his gamecock in Kabul Afghanistan, Feb. 15, 2013. Cockfighting, a popular age-old tradition in Kabul, was banned during the rule of the Taliban regime. (Ali Hamed Haghdoust/Associated Press)#

An aerial view of Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province, Feb. 4, 2013. Once known as the "mother of cities," the ancient city of Balkh was a popular destination along the ancient Silk Route. Balkh was destroyed by Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan during his rule, with the city's ruins remaining as a tourist attraction today. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)#

A child receives polio vaccination drops during an anti-polio campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Feb. 11, 2013. (Parwiz/Reuters)#

An undated production still photograph from the Oscar-nominated film, "Buzkashi Boys," which was filmed in Kabul, Afghanistan, shows actor Jawanmard Paiz on the set of the film. Jawanmard Paiz was plucked from the dingy streets of the Afghan capital to be one of the main stars of “Buzkashi Boys,” a coming-of-age movie filmed entirely in a war zone and nominated in the Best Live Action Short Film category. (David Gill/Afghan Film Project)#

Shahar Banoo Zeerak, 23, dress designer, model and organizer of the show makes up a model prior a fashion show in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 8, 2013. The rare fashion show in this war-weary capital was a small production but a big idea — part of an Afghan group's efforts to empower women by breaking down barriers in this highly conservative Muslim society. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press)#

Afghan people walk next to a poppy field in the Khogyani district in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 8, 2013. Poppy cultivation is expected to increase in both eastern and western provinces of the country. (Rahmat GulAssociated Press)#

An Afghan worker hands a packet containing a local snack food called seemian (made from flour and sugar) to a woman at a factory in Mazar-i-Sharif, Feb. 2, 2013. Afghanistan's economy will easily survive the pending departure of US and other international troops next year, Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal insisted last month. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images)#

An Afghan worker prepares a local snack food called seemian (made from flour and sugar) at a factory in Mazar-i-Sharif, Feb. 2, 2013. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images)#

Soldiers from the Afghan National Army play cricket at Forward Operating Base Azzizulah in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Feb. 4, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

A local Afghan man who manages a shop inside Forward Operating Base Azzizulah washes himself in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Feb. 4, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

An Afghan couple feed pigeons outside of the Sakhi shrine during a snowfall in Kabul, Feb. 4, 2013. Kabul has been experiencing below freezing weather and snow for several days. (Ali Hamed Haghdoust/Associated Press)#

Afghan day laborers skin off cow heads in Kabul, Feb. 4, 2013. Over a third of Afghans are living in abject poverty, as those in power are more concerned about addressing their vested interests rather than the basic needs of the population, a UN report said. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)#

An Afghan woman begs for alms as she sits on a slush-filled road during a snowfall in Kabul, Feb. 4, 2013. As winter sets in across Central Asia, many Afghans struggle to provide adequate food and shelter for their families. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)#

Internally displaced Afghanis wait during a snowfall to receive firewood donated by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in a refugee camp, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 3, 2013. (Ali Hamed Haghdoust/Associated Press)#

An Afghan woman receives firewood as part of winter relief assistance donated by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in the outskirts of Kabul, Feb. 3, 2013. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)#

Afghans clear the snow from in front of their car washing booths during a snowstorm in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 4, 2013. Afghans experienced below freezing temperatures and snow for several days. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press)#

Afghan youths play in the snow in Kabul, Feb. 4, 2013. As winter sets in across Central Asia, many Afghans struggle to provide adequate food and shelter for their families. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)#

An Afghan child sells potatoes on a street corner in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Feb. 2, 2013. Once known as the "mother of cities," the ancient city of Balkh was a popular destination along the ancient Silk Route. Balkh was destroyed by Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan during his rule, with the city's ruins remaining as a tourist attraction today. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images)#

An Afghan boy looks out from a photo studio in Kabul, Feb. 4, 2013. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)#

U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division set up at a supportive position during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 3, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

A local Afghan man has his fingerprints scanned by U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 3, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division look on as they set up at a supportive position during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 3, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division speak to a local Afghan man during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 3, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

Soldiers in the Afghan National Army talk to a local resident they considered suspicious, who was found walking near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a nearby village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 2, 2013. The local was later considered to be of no threat, according to the soldiers. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

Afghan children gather around U.S. troops during a patrol near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a nearby village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 1, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

A soldier from the U.S. Army's Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment works out at Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

An Afghan child is seen near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

A letter written to U.S. soldiers is taped to a refrigerator at Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

An Afghan man drinks tea with soldiers from the U.S. Army's Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment during a patrol near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

A member of the Afghan National Army provides security with a soldier from the U.S. Army's Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment during a patrol near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#

A soldier from the U.S. Army's Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment uses the computer at Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)#


 
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