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Afghanistan: January 2013

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In early January, President Barack Obama met with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, indicating a series of decisions that may accelerate the planned handover of power to the government of Afghanistan. Terms are still being negotiated, and final troop levels have yet to be decided, but NATO troops will be withdrawing from villages this spring, and prisons holding terrorism suspects will soon be under Afghan control. One big condition still left unsettled: an immunity agreement in which remaining U.S. troops would not subjected to Afghan law. These photos show just a glimpse of this conflict over the past month, part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan. [39 photos]

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An Afghan man stands outside a compound near the town of Hutal in Maywand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 20, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton)
An Afghan man stands outside a compound near the town of Hutal in Maywand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 20, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton)
A United States gun crew fire illumination rounds at Forward Operating Base Hadrian. The 1st Section Bravo Battery 1-9 Field Artillery from Fort Stewart Georgia, have been conducting intensive training and fire missions to support operations in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. The gunners, based out of Forward Operating Base Hadrian in Deh Rawud district, are tasked with providing offensive support to Combined Team Uruzgan missions using M777 A2 Howitzers. (Australian Army/Captain Jesse Platz, 7 RAR Task Group) #
An Afghan local policeman listens to speeches during a graduation ceremony in Herat west of Kabul, on January 10, 2013. Around 250 police security forces including 10 policewomen officers and 50 local policemen graduated after receiving six months of training at a police training center in Herat. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi) #
Afghan children slide down a snow-covered slope in Kabul, on January 18, 2013. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
Senior Airman Hugo Garcia, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection lab journeyman, pours magnetic particles over an A-10 wheel bolt at Bagram Air Field, on January 21, 2013. A magnetic particle solution is used to fill any cracks in a suspected damaged piece of equipment which will then glow under a black light to determine whether it is damaged. (USAF/Senior Airman Chris Willis) #
A victim at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul, on January 16, 2013. Six militants -- one driving a car packed with explosives -- attacked the gate of the Afghan intelligence service in the capital Kabul on Wednesday, setting off a blast that could be heard throughout downtown and which sent a plume of dark smoke rising into the sky. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #
An Afghan truck driver peers through the broken windshield of his vehicle at the site of a suicide attack near the Afghan intelligence agency headquarters in Kabul, on January 16, 2013. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
A wounded Afghan boy, at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, on January 16, 2013. A car bomb exploded in front of the gates of the Afghan intelligence agency on Wednesday, Reuters witnesses said, near heavily barricaded government buildings and Western embassies. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
An Afghan National Army soldier, assigned to 1st Kandak, 4th Brigade, 201st Corps, searches a local national for explosives and weapons during ANA clearing operations near Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, on January 15, 2013. (U.S. Army/Spc. Ryan Hallgarth) #
An Afghan student practices playing the guitar in a class at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul, on January 9, 2013. Dozens of Afghan teenagers including former street kids or orphans aged 10 to 22, will be playing in the Afghan Youth Orchestra which begins a 12-day U.S. tour on February 3 and includes concerts at Washington's Kennedy Center -- President Barrack Obama has been invited -- New York's Carnegie Hall and the New England Conservatory in Boston. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
A member of a U.S. Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team patrols a patch of farm land during a mission near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a nearby village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, on January 30, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #
Members of the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron clear snow around an A-10 Thunderbolt II at Bagram Air Field, on January 13, 2013. (USAF/Senior Airman Chris Willis) #
A letter written to U.S. soldiers, taped to a refrigerator at Command Outpost AJK in Kandahar Province, on February 2, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #
A Pakistani fireman extinguishes burning NATO supply truck in Quetta on January 11, 2013, after unidentified men fired rockets on NATO containers carrying goods for international troops operating in Afghanistan, killing one person and destroying at least five vehicles in the Hazar Ganji area on the outskirts of Quetta. (Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
Six UH-60L Black Hawks and two CH-47F Chinooks, assigned to Task Force Brawler, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Task Force Falcon, simultaneously launch a daytime mission on January 18, 2013, from Multinational Base Tarin Kowt. (US Army) #
A 10-year-old girl injured by an improvised explosive device waits for a helicopter to evacuate her for further medical attention from strong point DeMaiwand, Maywand District, Kandahar Province, on January 18, 2013. The IED also injured a 25-year-old man, who had both legs blown off. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #
A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III shuts down after landing at Bagram Air Field, to wait for its cargo to off-load. (U.S. Army/1st Lt. Henry Chan) #
Afghan midwives attend their graduation ceremony at the governor's house, in Jalalabad east of Kabul, on January 16, 2013. Over 52 midwives graduated after receiving 2 year of training in Jalalabad. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
Afghan boys play on a frozen lake in Kabul, on January 9, 2013. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
Members of the Afghan National Security Forces wait for U.S. troops before the detonation of confiscated IEDs near Combat Outpost Hutal in Maiwand District, on January 21, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #
A man looks through the barrel of a D-30 Howitzer for debris prior to a test fire at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) in Kabul, on January 6, 2013. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kleynia R. McKnight) #
Afghan day labourers skin cow heads in Kabul, on February 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) #
Black smoke billows from the Afghan police headquarters during an attack in Kabul on January 21, 2013. NATO troops joined a fight against a Taliban suicide squad that stormed a Kabul police headquarters, unleashing a stand-off that lasted for more than eight hours. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan security officers on the roof of the Kabul traffic police headquarters as it was under attack by insurgents in Kabul, on January 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #
Afghan security force members look through a broken window after a clash between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters in Kabul, on January 21, 2013. NATO troops joined a fight against a Taliban suicide squad that stormed a Kabul police headquarters at dawn on January 21, killing three police officers. The Taliban claimed the attack, which turned into the longest stand-off between the insurgents and security forces in Kabul since a major coordinated raid on the capital lasted 18 hours in April last year. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan and coalition security force provide security during a mission that detained six Taliban insurgents in Nerkh district, on January 14, 2013. The detained Taliban leader facilitated the movement of weapons and IED materials to insurgents throughout Wardak province. (U.S. Army/Pfc. Coty M. Kuhn) #
A man hold his bleeding dog after a dog fighting match in Jalalabad, on January 25, 2013. Dog fighting is a popular pastime among Afghans during the winter season as public matches are held every Friday, which is the official weekly holiday in the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
Children crowd around a coalition force member maintaining security in Farah province, on January 24, 2013. (USMC/Sgt. Pete Thibodeau) #
A civilian-owned Mil-8 helicopter lifts off after U.S. Army Sgt. Rachel Barrett, a combat medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade "Rakkasans," 101st Airborne Division, attached its cargo via sling load at Forward Operating Base Salerno, on January 9, 2013. Sling load operations are used to get supplies and equipment to smaller, less accessible combat outposts. (U.S. Army/Spc. Alex Kirk Amen) #
Afghan journalists and policemen at the site of a blast in Mazar-i Sharif, on January 24, 2013. A landmine exploded on a street near the US consulate in the capital of the northern province Balkh leaving an Afghan guard wounded, Afghan officials said. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghans gather to watch as a man participates in a traditional archery match in Ghazni city, on January 28, 2013. (Rahmatullah Alizad/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan man, one of a group gathered by the Afghan Uniform Police, is finger-printed and photographed for registration by U.S. troops outside Command Outpost AJK in Kandahar Province, on January 27, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #
An IED detonates underneath a vehicle during a patrol outside Command Outpost AJK in Kandahar Province, on January 28, 2013. No one was killed in the attack. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #
Afghan youths play in the snow in Kabul, on February 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) #
Sergeant Scott Weaver, of The Queens Royal Lancers launches a newly issued Black Hornet miniature surveillance helicopter during an operation in Afghanistan. The Scandinavian-designed Black Hornet Nano weighs as little as 16 grams (0.56 ounces) -- the same as a finch. The four-inch-long (10-centimeter-long) helicopter is fitted with a tiny camera which relays still images and video to a remote terminal. Troops used the drone to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing. (AP Photo/Sgt. Ruper Frere) #
Latifa Azizi waits with other performers to perform in the "Afghan star" talent show in Kabul, on January 23, 2013. Azizi and her family fled Mazar for the Afghan capital, Kabul, soon after she appeared on the show in November. Her community was angry with her appearance, saying it was un-Islamic for a woman to sing and appear on television. The family began to receive death threats. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
People cheer during the "Afghan star" talent show in Kabul, on January 23, 2013. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
U.S. Army soldiers carry the flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of U.S. Army Sgt. David J. Chambers, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, on January 19, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. Chambers, who was from Hampton, Virginia, was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images) #
The tracks of a U.S. Army vehicle, during a mission near Command Outpost Pa'in Kalay, Kandahar Province, on February 3, 2013. (Reuters/Andrew Burton) #

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