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Pictures | Mon Dec 17, 2012 | 7:29pm EST

Insight: Afghans turn to AK-47, fearing Taliban return or civil war

A Kalashnikov lies near a pile of books in Kabul, in this February 22, 2002 file picture. Arms purchases are soaring in Afghanistan, along with the price of weapons, a sign that many Afghans fear a return of the Taliban, civil war or rising lawlessness. Afghanistan wants to project an image of stability ahead of 2014, a critical year when presidential elections will be held and the 350,000 Afghan security force will take over security from Western troops. REUTERS/Mario Laporta/Files

A Kalashnikov lies near a pile of books in Kabul, in this February 22, 2002 file picture. Arms purchases are soaring in Afghanistan, along with the price of weapons, a sign that many Afghans fear a return of the Taliban, civil war or rising...more

A Kalashnikov lies near a pile of books in Kabul, in this February 22, 2002 file picture. Arms purchases are soaring in Afghanistan, along with the price of weapons, a sign that many Afghans fear a return of the Taliban, civil war or rising lawlessness. Afghanistan wants to project an image of stability ahead of 2014, a critical year when presidential elections will be held and the 350,000 Afghan security force will take over security from Western troops. REUTERS/Mario Laporta/Files
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Afghan soldiers look at a painting of a Kalashnikov rifle on a wall as they search a house for weapons in Dorfshan river valley in Uruzgan province, in this November 7, 2007 file picture. Arms purchases are soaring in Afghanistan, along with the price of weapons, a sign that many Afghans fear a return of the Taliban, civil war or rising lawlessness. Afghanistan wants to project an image of stability ahead of 2014, a critical year when presidential elections will be held and the 350,000 Afghan security force will take over security from Western troops. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Afghan soldiers look at a painting of a Kalashnikov rifle on a wall as they search a house for weapons in Dorfshan river valley in Uruzgan province, in this November 7, 2007 file picture. Arms purchases are soaring in Afghanistan, along with the...more

Afghan soldiers look at a painting of a Kalashnikov rifle on a wall as they search a house for weapons in Dorfshan river valley in Uruzgan province, in this November 7, 2007 file picture. Arms purchases are soaring in Afghanistan, along with the price of weapons, a sign that many Afghans fear a return of the Taliban, civil war or rising lawlessness. Afghanistan wants to project an image of stability ahead of 2014, a critical year when presidential elections will be held and the 350,000 Afghan security force will take over security from Western troops. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
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