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Rise of the Taliban

<p>Taliban fighters fire a jeep-mounted BM-12 rocket towards a village north of Kabul, October 11, 1996. 



REUTERS/File </p>

Taliban fighters fire a jeep-mounted BM-12 rocket towards a village north of Kabul, October 11, 1996. REUTERS/File

Taliban fighters fire a jeep-mounted BM-12 rocket towards a village north of Kabul, October 11, 1996. REUTERS/File

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<p>Afghan refugees walk along the road fleeing fighting north of Kabul, October 11, 1996. 



REUTERS/Patrick de Noirmont</p>

Afghan refugees walk along the road fleeing fighting north of Kabul, October 11, 1996. REUTERS/Patrick de Noirmont

Afghan refugees walk along the road fleeing fighting north of Kabul, October 11, 1996. REUTERS/Patrick de Noirmont

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<p>Taliban fighters chant slogans as they drive a tank towards the Afghan capital Kabul during figthing with opposition forces led by Commander Ahmad Shah Masood, November 9, 1997.  



REUTERS/File </p>

Taliban fighters chant slogans as they drive a tank towards the Afghan capital Kabul during figthing with opposition forces led by Commander Ahmad Shah Masood, November 9, 1997. REUTERS/File

Taliban fighters chant slogans as they drive a tank towards the Afghan capital Kabul during figthing with opposition forces led by Commander Ahmad Shah Masood, November 9, 1997. REUTERS/File

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<p>Taliban fighters gather at the Sharabat village, near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif before entering the city, May 23, 1997.  



REUTERS/File    </p>

Taliban fighters gather at the Sharabat village, near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif before entering the city, May 23, 1997. REUTERS/File

Taliban fighters gather at the Sharabat village, near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif before entering the city, May 23, 1997. REUTERS/File

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<p>Children displaced by fighting between the Taliban and forces loyal to opposition leader Ahmad Shah Masood play near their camp in the Panjsher valley, northeast of Kabul, December 9, 1999. 



REUTERS/File     </p>

Children displaced by fighting between the Taliban and forces loyal to opposition leader Ahmad Shah Masood play near their camp in the Panjsher valley, northeast of Kabul, December 9, 1999. REUTERS/File

Children displaced by fighting between the Taliban and forces loyal to opposition leader Ahmad Shah Masood play near their camp in the Panjsher valley, northeast of Kabul, December 9, 1999. REUTERS/File

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<p>Taliban fighters man an anti-aircraft gun at a village in Laghman province during fighting with opposition troops loyal to commander Ahmed Shah Masood, December 7, 1999. 



REUTERS/File    


</p>

Taliban fighters man an anti-aircraft gun at a village in Laghman province during fighting with opposition troops loyal to commander Ahmed Shah Masood, December 7, 1999. REUTERS/File

Taliban fighters man an anti-aircraft gun at a village in Laghman province during fighting with opposition troops loyal to commander Ahmed Shah Masood, December 7, 1999. REUTERS/File

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<p>Journalists look at one of the Buddha statues destroyed by the ruling Taliban in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan, March 26, 2001. 



REUTERS/File </p>

Journalists look at one of the Buddha statues destroyed by the ruling Taliban in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan, March 26, 2001. REUTERS/File

Journalists look at one of the Buddha statues destroyed by the ruling Taliban in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan, March 26, 2001. REUTERS/File

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<p>An Afghan boy looks at a pole strung with hundreds of destroyed video and music tapes beside a road in Kabul,  July 16, 2001.  The ruling Taliban banned music and cinema and jailed violators for several days if caught, while their tapes were publicly destroyed. 



REUTERS/File </p>

An Afghan boy looks at a pole strung with hundreds of destroyed video and music tapes beside a road in Kabul, July 16, 2001. The ruling Taliban banned music and cinema and jailed violators for several days if caught, while their tapes were publicly...more

An Afghan boy looks at a pole strung with hundreds of destroyed video and music tapes beside a road in Kabul, July 16, 2001. The ruling Taliban banned music and cinema and jailed violators for several days if caught, while their tapes were publicly destroyed. REUTERS/File

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<p>Two Taliban fighters watch a soccer match in Kabul's main sports stadium, June 26, 2001. As part of its restrictions, the Taliban required athletes to fully cover their bodies during sports events.



REUTERS/File </p>

Two Taliban fighters watch a soccer match in Kabul's main sports stadium, June 26, 2001. As part of its restrictions, the Taliban required athletes to fully cover their bodies during sports events. REUTERS/File

Two Taliban fighters watch a soccer match in Kabul's main sports stadium, June 26, 2001. As part of its restrictions, the Taliban required athletes to fully cover their bodies during sports events. REUTERS/File

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<p>Taliban helicopters fly over a military parade as part of celebrations to mark the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain in Kabul, August 19, 2001. 



REUTERS/File 
</p>

Taliban helicopters fly over a military parade as part of celebrations to mark the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain in Kabul, August 19, 2001. REUTERS/File

Taliban helicopters fly over a military parade as part of celebrations to mark the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from Britain in Kabul, August 19, 2001. REUTERS/File

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<p>Afghans stop to look at the body of one of four men hanged by the ruling Taliban movement in Kabul, August 8, 2001. 



REUTERS/File     </p>

Afghans stop to look at the body of one of four men hanged by the ruling Taliban movement in Kabul, August 8, 2001. REUTERS/File

Afghans stop to look at the body of one of four men hanged by the ruling Taliban movement in Kabul, August 8, 2001. REUTERS/File

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<p>A Taliban soldier drinks tea while on guard in the capital Kabul, April 20, 2001. 



REUTERS/File </p>

A Taliban soldier drinks tea while on guard in the capital Kabul, April 20, 2001. REUTERS/File

A Taliban soldier drinks tea while on guard in the capital Kabul, April 20, 2001. REUTERS/File

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<p>A man watches senior Taliban clerics arriving at a meeting in Kabul to decide whether to bow to international demands for the surrender of Osama bin Laden, September 19, 2001. 



REUTERS/File </p>

A man watches senior Taliban clerics arriving at a meeting in Kabul to decide whether to bow to international demands for the surrender of Osama bin Laden, September 19, 2001. REUTERS/File

A man watches senior Taliban clerics arriving at a meeting in Kabul to decide whether to bow to international demands for the surrender of Osama bin Laden, September 19, 2001. REUTERS/File

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<p>Plumes of smoke rise over Bagram airport after U.S jets bombed Taliban positions north of the Afghan capital Kabul, October 30, 2001. 



REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis</p>

Plumes of smoke rise over Bagram airport after U.S jets bombed Taliban positions north of the Afghan capital Kabul, October 30, 2001. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Plumes of smoke rise over Bagram airport after U.S jets bombed Taliban positions north of the Afghan capital Kabul, October 30, 2001. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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<p>Afghan opposition Northern Alliance soldiers leap over a trench as they return from the front lines after fighting against the ruling Taliban near the town of Charatoy in the north of Afghanistan, October 10, 2001. 



REUTERS/Gleb Garanich </p>

Afghan opposition Northern Alliance soldiers leap over a trench as they return from the front lines after fighting against the ruling Taliban near the town of Charatoy in the north of Afghanistan, October 10, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Afghan opposition Northern Alliance soldiers leap over a trench as they return from the front lines after fighting against the ruling Taliban near the town of Charatoy in the north of Afghanistan, October 10, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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<p>Fire and smoke rise from a Taliban building in Kabul after it was hit by a U.S. cruise missile, October 15, 2001. 


 REUTERS/ Sayed Salahuddin</p>

Fire and smoke rise from a Taliban building in Kabul after it was hit by a U.S. cruise missile, October 15, 2001. REUTERS/ Sayed Salahuddin

Fire and smoke rise from a Taliban building in Kabul after it was hit by a U.S. cruise missile, October 15, 2001. REUTERS/ Sayed Salahuddin

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<p>Northern Alliance soldiers fire on the ruling Taliban from their position near Charatoy in the north of Afghanistan, October 17, 2001. 



REUTERS/Gleb Garanich </p>

Northern Alliance soldiers fire on the ruling Taliban from their position near Charatoy in the north of Afghanistan, October 17, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Northern Alliance soldiers fire on the ruling Taliban from their position near Charatoy in the north of Afghanistan, October 17, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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<p>Taliban fighters walk through the debris of a building destroyed by U.S. bombs on the outskirts of Kandahar, October 31, 2001. 



REUTERS/Mian Khursheed</p>

Taliban fighters walk through the debris of a building destroyed by U.S. bombs on the outskirts of Kandahar, October 31, 2001. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

Taliban fighters walk through the debris of a building destroyed by U.S. bombs on the outskirts of Kandahar, October 31, 2001. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

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<p>Afghan children walk to fetch water in a refugee camp near the town Khoja Bahawudin in northern Afghanistan, near the front lines of fighting between the ruling Taliban and opposition Northern Alliance, October 14, 2001. 



REUTERS/Gleb Garanich </p>

Afghan children walk to fetch water in a refugee camp near the town Khoja Bahawudin in northern Afghanistan, near the front lines of fighting between the ruling Taliban and opposition Northern Alliance, October 14, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich more

Afghan children walk to fetch water in a refugee camp near the town Khoja Bahawudin in northern Afghanistan, near the front lines of fighting between the ruling Taliban and opposition Northern Alliance, October 14, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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<p>A Northern Alliance fighter, covered with dust and carrying a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, rides a truck to the battlefield in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, December 16, 2001. 



REUTERS/Erik de Castro </p>

A Northern Alliance fighter, covered with dust and carrying a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, rides a truck to the battlefield in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, December 16, 2001. REUTERS/Erik de Castro

A Northern Alliance fighter, covered with dust and carrying a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, rides a truck to the battlefield in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, December 16, 2001. REUTERS/Erik de Castro

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<p>Northern Alliance fighters watch several explosions from a U.S. bombing run in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, December 16, 2001. 



REUTERS/Erik de Castro </p>

Northern Alliance fighters watch several explosions from a U.S. bombing run in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, December 16, 2001. REUTERS/Erik de Castro

Northern Alliance fighters watch several explosions from a U.S. bombing run in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan, December 16, 2001. REUTERS/Erik de Castro

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<p>Taliban prisoners guarded by Northern Alliance soldiers stand in the yard of a jail in Khoja Bahawuddin in northern Afghanistan, October 18, 2001. 



REUTERS/Gleb Garanich</p>

Taliban prisoners guarded by Northern Alliance soldiers stand in the yard of a jail in Khoja Bahawuddin in northern Afghanistan, October 18, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Taliban prisoners guarded by Northern Alliance soldiers stand in the yard of a jail in Khoja Bahawuddin in northern Afghanistan, October 18, 2001. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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<p>An Afghan refugee girl in the Kili Faizu UNHCR Camp in Chaman, Pakistan, reacts after spotting a jet flying overhead, November 10, 2001. 



REUTERS/Adrees Latif </p>

An Afghan refugee girl in the Kili Faizu UNHCR Camp in Chaman, Pakistan, reacts after spotting a jet flying overhead, November 10, 2001. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

An Afghan refugee girl in the Kili Faizu UNHCR Camp in Chaman, Pakistan, reacts after spotting a jet flying overhead, November 10, 2001. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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<p>Armed men preparing to cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan to join the Taliban in a holy war against the United States and its allies show off their weapons in the border town of Laghary,  October 28, 2001.



REUTERS/File </p>

Armed men preparing to cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan to join the Taliban in a holy war against the United States and its allies show off their weapons in the border town of Laghary, October 28, 2001. REUTERS/File

Armed men preparing to cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan to join the Taliban in a holy war against the United States and its allies show off their weapons in the border town of Laghary, October 28, 2001. REUTERS/File

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<p>U.S. Marines from Charlie 1/1 of the 15th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) fill sand bags around their light mortar position at a Marine Corps base in southern Afghanistan, December 1, 2001. 



REUTERS/Jim Hollander </p>

U.S. Marines from Charlie 1/1 of the 15th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) fill sand bags around their light mortar position at a Marine Corps base in southern Afghanistan, December 1, 2001. REUTERS/Jim Hollander

U.S. Marines from Charlie 1/1 of the 15th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) fill sand bags around their light mortar position at a Marine Corps base in southern Afghanistan, December 1, 2001. REUTERS/Jim Hollander

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<p>Afghan boys play soccer in front of the gaping niche where a giant Buddha statue used to stand in the central town of Bamiyan, northwest of Kabul, April 13, 2007. The Taliban destroyed two of the statues in 2001. 



REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic </p>

Afghan boys play soccer in front of the gaping niche where a giant Buddha statue used to stand in the central town of Bamiyan, northwest of Kabul, April 13, 2007. The Taliban destroyed two of the statues in 2001. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Afghan boys play soccer in front of the gaping niche where a giant Buddha statue used to stand in the central town of Bamiyan, northwest of Kabul, April 13, 2007. The Taliban destroyed two of the statues in 2001. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>Taliban fighters talk to each other at an undisclosed location in the Laghman province in southern Afghanistan, November 23, 2006. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Kamgar </p>

Taliban fighters talk to each other at an undisclosed location in the Laghman province in southern Afghanistan, November 23, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Kamgar

Taliban fighters talk to each other at an undisclosed location in the Laghman province in southern Afghanistan, November 23, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Kamgar

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<p>Detained suspected Taliban insurgents walk with their arms bound behind their backs after a battle in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007. 



REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly </p>

Detained suspected Taliban insurgents walk with their arms bound behind their backs after a battle in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Detained suspected Taliban insurgents walk with their arms bound behind their backs after a battle in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>A wounded Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition crawls for cover seconds after his position was hit by a Taliban shell fired from an 82-millimetre recoilless rifle during an ambush in Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007. 



REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly</p>

A wounded Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition crawls for cover seconds after his position was hit by a Taliban shell fired from an 82-millimetre recoilless rifle during an ambush in Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan,...more

A wounded Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition crawls for cover seconds after his position was hit by a Taliban shell fired from an 82-millimetre recoilless rifle during an ambush in Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>Locals run away from the scene of a Taliban suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, July 7, 2008. 



REUTERS/Pajwak News Agency </p>

Locals run away from the scene of a Taliban suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, July 7, 2008. REUTERS/Pajwak News Agency

Locals run away from the scene of a Taliban suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, July 7, 2008. REUTERS/Pajwak News Agency

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<p>A U.S. Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit has a close call after Taliban fighters opened fire near Garmser, in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, May 18, 2008. The Marine was not injured. 



REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic </p>

A U.S. Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit has a close call after Taliban fighters opened fire near Garmser, in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, May 18, 2008. The Marine was not injured. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A U.S. Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit has a close call after Taliban fighters opened fire near Garmser, in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, May 18, 2008. The Marine was not injured. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>Afghan policemen stand next to a captured Taliban fighter after a gun battle near the village of Shajoy in Zabol province, March 22, 2008. 



REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic </p>

Afghan policemen stand next to a captured Taliban fighter after a gun battle near the village of Shajoy in Zabol province, March 22, 2008. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Afghan policemen stand next to a captured Taliban fighter after a gun battle near the village of Shajoy in Zabol province, March 22, 2008. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>People look at burnt military vehicles on the outskirts of Peshawar after Pakistani Taliban torched dozens of containers full of supplies meant for Western forces in Afghanistan, December 8, 2008. 



REUTERS/Ali Imam </p>

People look at burnt military vehicles on the outskirts of Peshawar after Pakistani Taliban torched dozens of containers full of supplies meant for Western forces in Afghanistan, December 8, 2008. REUTERS/Ali Imam

People look at burnt military vehicles on the outskirts of Peshawar after Pakistani Taliban torched dozens of containers full of supplies meant for Western forces in Afghanistan, December 8, 2008. REUTERS/Ali Imam

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<p>A Pakistani tank shoots towards Taliban positions in Loisam town in the Bajaur tribal region of Pakistan, October 25, 2008. 



REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti/Pool </p>

A Pakistani tank shoots towards Taliban positions in Loisam town in the Bajaur tribal region of Pakistan, October 25, 2008. REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti/Pool

A Pakistani tank shoots towards Taliban positions in Loisam town in the Bajaur tribal region of Pakistan, October 25, 2008. REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti/Pool

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<p>Taliban militants are seen with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, January 16, 2009. 



REUTERS/Stringer </p>

Taliban militants are seen with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, January 16, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

Taliban militants are seen with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, January 16, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>Pakistani Taliban fighters gesture towards the camera before leaving Buner, northwest of Islamabad, April 24, 2009. 



REUTERS/Stringer </p>

Pakistani Taliban fighters gesture towards the camera before leaving Buner, northwest of Islamabad, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

Pakistani Taliban fighters gesture towards the camera before leaving Buner, northwest of Islamabad, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>Evacuees from Buner walk next to trucks loaded with their possessions on the outskirts of Peshawar to avoid heavy fighting between Pakistani security forces and Taliban militants, April 29, 2009. 



REUTERS/Adil Khan </p>

Evacuees from Buner walk next to trucks loaded with their possessions on the outskirts of Peshawar to avoid heavy fighting between Pakistani security forces and Taliban militants, April 29, 2009. REUTERS/Adil Khan

Evacuees from Buner walk next to trucks loaded with their possessions on the outskirts of Peshawar to avoid heavy fighting between Pakistani security forces and Taliban militants, April 29, 2009. REUTERS/Adil Khan

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<p>Armed members of the Pakistani Taliban walk on a street in the Buner district, northwest of Islamabad, April 23, 2009. 



REUTERS/Stringer</p>

Armed members of the Pakistani Taliban walk on a street in the Buner district, northwest of Islamabad, April 23, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

Armed members of the Pakistani Taliban walk on a street in the Buner district, northwest of Islamabad, April 23, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>An internally displaced girl, fleeing military operations in Buner, holds her sibling at a UNHCR camp (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) in Mardan,  northwest of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, May 6, 2009. 



REUTERS/Adrees Latif </p>

An internally displaced girl, fleeing military operations in Buner, holds her sibling at a UNHCR camp (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) in Mardan, northwest of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, May 6, 2009. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

An internally displaced girl, fleeing military operations in Buner, holds her sibling at a UNHCR camp (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) in Mardan, northwest of Pakistan's capital Islamabad, May 6, 2009. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

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<p>Pakistani Taliban fighters sit with their weapons on the back of a truck in Buner, northwest of Islamabad, April 24, 2009. 



REUTERS/Stringer </p>

Pakistani Taliban fighters sit with their weapons on the back of a truck in Buner, northwest of Islamabad, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

Pakistani Taliban fighters sit with their weapons on the back of a truck in Buner, northwest of Islamabad, April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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