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Pictures | Thu Dec 3, 2009 | 11:35am EST

Afghanistan's terrain

<p>An aerial view of Kandahar is seen from Blackhawk helicopter, May 7, 2009. 



REUTERS/Jason Reed </p>

An aerial view of Kandahar is seen from Blackhawk helicopter, May 7, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An aerial view of Kandahar is seen from Blackhawk helicopter, May 7, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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<p>The remains of the Giant Buddha, which was destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, is reflected in the central province of Bamiyan, August 31, 2006. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

The remains of the Giant Buddha, which was destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, is reflected in the central province of Bamiyan, August 31, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

The remains of the Giant Buddha, which was destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, is reflected in the central province of Bamiyan, August 31, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Afghans walk home at sunset near the village of Salavat in Kandahar province, September 24, 2009. 



REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly </p>

Afghans walk home at sunset near the village of Salavat in Kandahar province, September 24, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Afghans walk home at sunset near the village of Salavat in Kandahar province, September 24, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>A family watches as a helicopter passes overhead in  Nangarhar province, August 15, 2009.



REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A family watches as a helicopter passes overhead in Nangarhar province, August 15, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A family watches as a helicopter passes overhead in Nangarhar province, August 15, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>An Afghan boy sweeps fallen leaves to be used for fire, as winter approaches in Afghanistan, on the outskirts of Kabul, October 25, 2005. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood</p>

An Afghan boy sweeps fallen leaves to be used for fire, as winter approaches in Afghanistan, on the outskirts of Kabul, October 25, 2005. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

An Afghan boy sweeps fallen leaves to be used for fire, as winter approaches in Afghanistan, on the outskirts of Kabul, October 25, 2005. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>The view from the back of a Chinook CH-47F transport helicopter during a mission over Afghanistan's Kunar province, August 11, 2009. 



REUTERS/Oleg Popov </p>

The view from the back of a Chinook CH-47F transport helicopter during a mission over Afghanistan's Kunar province, August 11, 2009. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

The view from the back of a Chinook CH-47F transport helicopter during a mission over Afghanistan's Kunar province, August 11, 2009. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

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<p>An aerial view of Lake Band-e-Amir in Bamiyan province, June 18, 2009. 



PARK/ REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

An aerial view of Lake Band-e-Amir in Bamiyan province, June 18, 2009. PARK/ REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An aerial view of Lake Band-e-Amir in Bamiyan province, June 18, 2009. PARK/ REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>A Canadian soldier (C) takes up a position under fire as an Afghan army machine gunner returns fire after their position was hit by Taliban shells during an ambush in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, October 23, 2007. 



REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly </p>

A Canadian soldier (C) takes up a position under fire as an Afghan army machine gunner returns fire after their position was hit by Taliban shells during an ambush in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, October 23, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr...more

A Canadian soldier (C) takes up a position under fire as an Afghan army machine gunner returns fire after their position was hit by Taliban shells during an ambush in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, October 23, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>An Afghan woman walks in Kabul, February 17, 2008. 



REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

An Afghan woman walks in Kabul, February 17, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan woman walks in Kabul, February 17, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>An Afghan man digs sand for construction in Kabul April 9, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic </p>

An Afghan man digs sand for construction in Kabul April 9, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

An Afghan man digs sand for construction in Kabul April 9, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>An Afghan man walks past a damaged building in Kabul, May 8, 2007. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

An Afghan man walks past a damaged building in Kabul, May 8, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

An Afghan man walks past a damaged building in Kabul, May 8, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>A view of the valley of Bamian in central Afghanistan, September 21, 2005. 



REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

A view of the valley of Bamian in central Afghanistan, September 21, 2005. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A view of the valley of Bamian in central Afghanistan, September 21, 2005. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>An Afghan boy walks up a snow covered hill overlooking the city of Kabul, January 3, 2006. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood</p>

An Afghan boy walks up a snow covered hill overlooking the city of Kabul, January 3, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

An Afghan boy walks up a snow covered hill overlooking the city of Kabul, January 3, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>A U.S. soldier mans his position as smoke rises from artillery fire against Taliban militia near Honaker Miracle camp at the Pesh valley of Kunar Province, August 20, 2009. 



REUTERS/Carlos Barria </p>

A U.S. soldier mans his position as smoke rises from artillery fire against Taliban militia near Honaker Miracle camp at the Pesh valley of Kunar Province, August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A U.S. soldier mans his position as smoke rises from artillery fire against Taliban militia near Honaker Miracle camp at the Pesh valley of Kunar Province, August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>An Afghan man prays outside Kabul, April 6, 2007. 



REUTERS/Fatih Saribas </p>

An Afghan man prays outside Kabul, April 6, 2007. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

An Afghan man prays outside Kabul, April 6, 2007. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

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<p>Men from the ethnic Hazara minority walk near Bamiyan, April 12, 2007.



REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic </p>

Men from the ethnic Hazara minority walk near Bamiyan, April 12, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Men from the ethnic Hazara minority walk near Bamiyan, April 12, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

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<p>Afghan villagers watch as NATO soldiers patrol through streets lined with mud huts in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, October 20, 2007. 



REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly</p>

Afghan villagers watch as NATO soldiers patrol through streets lined with mud huts in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, October 20, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

Afghan villagers watch as NATO soldiers patrol through streets lined with mud huts in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, October 20, 2007. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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<p>An Afghan boy carries a stick as he walks on a road in Kabul, January 19, 2006. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood</p>

An Afghan boy carries a stick as he walks on a road in Kabul, January 19, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

An Afghan boy carries a stick as he walks on a road in Kabul, January 19, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Taliban militants are seen with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, January 30, 2009. 



REUTERS/Stringer</p>

Taliban militants are seen with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, January 30, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

Taliban militants are seen with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, January 30, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

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<p>Men work at the Taqcha Khana salt mine in the Namak Aab district of Takhar province, March 10, 2009. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

Men work at the Taqcha Khana salt mine in the Namak Aab district of Takhar province, March 10, 2009. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Men work at the Taqcha Khana salt mine in the Namak Aab district of Takhar province, March 10, 2009. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>Canadian soldiers prepare to inspect a cave for a potential weapons cache in the Arghandab district, May 14 2008. 



REUTERS/Peter Andrews </p>

Canadian soldiers prepare to inspect a cave for a potential weapons cache in the Arghandab district, May 14 2008. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

Canadian soldiers prepare to inspect a cave for a potential weapons cache in the Arghandab district, May 14 2008. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

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<p>Afghan National Army soldiers participate in a live firing exercise in Kabul, July 3, 2007. 



REUTERS/Ahmad Masood </p>

Afghan National Army soldiers participate in a live firing exercise in Kabul, July 3, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Afghan National Army soldiers participate in a live firing exercise in Kabul, July 3, 2007. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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<p>The sun sets in the valley of Bamian, September 22, 2005. 




REUTERS/Desmond Boylan</p>

The sun sets in the valley of Bamian, September 22, 2005. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

The sun sets in the valley of Bamian, September 22, 2005. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

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<p>An Afghan boy carries a bag of firewood on the top of a hill in Kabul, February 12, 2007. 



REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

An Afghan boy carries a bag of firewood on the top of a hill in Kabul, February 12, 2007. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan boy carries a bag of firewood on the top of a hill in Kabul, February 12, 2007. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>A NATOsoldier aims his weapon during a patrol in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 19, 2009. 



REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly </p>

A NATOsoldier aims his weapon during a patrol in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 19, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A NATOsoldier aims his weapon during a patrol in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 19, 2009. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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