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Afghanistan: September 2013

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Over the past few months here, I've focused on different aspect of the ongoing war in Afghanistan, featuring the region in the 1950s and 60s, the children of war, and the women of the war. Today's entry takes a look at events that took place in Afghanistan this summer. For Afghans, the violence continues, and deep uncertainty remains as they prepare for a presidential election next April, and the withdrawal of NATO troops by the end of next year. The photos here are part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan. [34 photos]

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A man washes his horse in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 4, 2013. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail)
A man washes his horse in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 4, 2013. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail)
An Italian airforce CH-47 Chinook of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) flies over Herat, Afghanistan on June 20, 2013. (Fabrizio Bensch/AFP/Getty Images) #
A truck driver transporting NATO military vehicles sleeps as he waits for registration before crossing the Torkham border into Pakistan, in eastern Nangarhar province on August 24, 2013. Military vehicles of NATO forces have started leaving the country via Pakistan as they conclude NATO duty in Afghanistan. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images) #
Kaden Bowden, son of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, looks at the casket for his father during burial services for Staff Sgt. Bowden at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, on September 27, 2013. Bowden was from Villa Rica, Georgia, and died on August 31, 2013, from injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) #
Afghan policemen, near a crater at the scene of suicide attack in Maidan Shar, the capital of Wardak province, on September 8, 2013. At least four Afghan intelligence agents were killed and more than one hundred people were wounded, the provincial government said in a statement. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
Afghan children play with plastic toy guns in Kabul, on August 8, 2013. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan farmer works on his farm on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, on September 5, 2013. Only about 15 percent of Afghanistan's land, mostly in scattered valleys, is suitable for farming with about 6 percent of the land actually cultivated, with wheat being the most important crop. (Farshad Usyan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A suicide attacker lies on the ground after his vest was defused in Jalalabad province, on June 30, 2013. Afghan security forces captured the would-be suicide attacker before he was able to blow himself up. (Reuters/Parwiz) #
A soldier with the 2-244th Airfield Operations Battalion, Louisiana National Guard, hangs from the hoist of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to Task Force Gunfighters, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, during hoist training above Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, on September 19, 2013. (U.S. Army/Capt. Andrew Cochran) #
An Afghan security member takes a fingerprint from a dead Taliban fighter in a building which was used for an attack on the Kabul airport, on June 10, 2013. All seven militants who launched the attack died in the assault, Afghan police said, adding that no civilian or security force casualties had been reported. "There were seven assailants -- two (suicide bombers) died detonating themselves and five others were killed in fighting," Mohammad Ayoub Salangi, chief of Kabul police, told reporters. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #
Italian armed force soldiers of the mountain unit Alpini stand in line at the Herat airfield, on June 20, 2013. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
An honor guard carries coffins of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan at the airport in Tbilisi, June 9, 2013. A suicide bomber detonated a small truck loaded with explosives in southern Afghanistan, killing seven Georgian soldiers, NATO and Georgian officials said, and the Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili) #
Afghan football fans climb an electrical pole to celebrate winning the South Asian Football Federation championship after their team defeated India during the final match, in Kabul, on September 12, 2013. President Hamid Karzai embraced Afghanistan's victorious football team on Thursday, hours after they united the nation in a rare moment of shared joy, but officials also told jubilant Afghans to stop firing guns into the air in celebration. The national men's team beat India 2-0 to win the championship in Kathmandu, Afghanistan's first international football title, sending tens of thousands of joyous Afghans into the streets. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
Afghan security personnel assist an injured police after a suicide car bombing and a gunfight near the U.S. consulate in Herat Province, on September 13, 2013. Taliban militants attacked the U.S. consulate in western Afghanistan, using a car bomb and guns to battle security forces just outside the compound in the city of Herat. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi) #
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jason Dinkins with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade is hugged by his daughter Olivia Chastain after a welcome home ceremony, on June 11, 2013 at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, The aviation brigade deployed 2,200 soldiers to Afghanistan in December on a 9-month mission, but came home earlier than expected. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) #
The Afghan landscape, seen from the crew chief's window of a 10th Combat Aviation Brigade UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during a training flight, Sept. 18, over Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army/Capt. Peter Smedberg) #
The reflection of a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, seen in the visor of Sgt. Corey Konieczko, a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crew chief assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Assault), 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, prior to a personnel movement mission, on September 25, 2013, at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army/Capt. Peter Smedberg) #
Afghan police officers share a joke during a training session at the Police Academy in Kabul, on September 25, 2013. Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, admitted that there were problems involving women in the police force but said the government plans to double the number of female officers from 2,200 to more than 4,000 in time for next April's presidential and provincial elections. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #
Afghanistan security forces take a position during an attack on the US consulate in Herat, on September 13, 2013. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images) #
An injured Afghan boy with blood on his face walks at the site of bomb explosion in Jalalabad province, on August 6, 2013. A remote control bomb went off in Jalalabad city, killing one person and injuring three others, provincial officials said. (Reuters/Parwiz) #
Afghan shopkeepers wait for customers at their stall overlooking Naghlu lake on the outskirts of Kabul, on September 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #
Afghan youths light candles in front of the destroyed palace of Darul Aman to mark the killing of 5,000 civilians by the communist regime during the Russian occupation, in Kabul, on September 29, 2013. Afghanistan observed two days of official mourning for people killed by the communist regime in the late 1970s after a list of thousands of the dead was released. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #
Disabled Afghan men play wheelchair basketball at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) basketball clubs for war victims and the disabled in Jalalabad, on August 19, 2013. Afghanistan is still one of the most heavily mined countries in the world despite international efforts to clean the impoverished nation of millions of mines. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images) #
A U.S. Army carry team carries the flag-draped transfer case with the remains of Army Staff Sergeant Octavio Herrera of Caldwell, Idaho, across the tarmac during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base August 14, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. Herrera died August 11 of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) #
Members of a motorcycle honor guard pay respects to Elizabeth Harman, sister of Lt. Col. Jaimie Leonard, who was killed in Afghanistan by an Afghan soldier along with two other Americans earlier this month, and who was laid to rest at the United States Military Academy Cemetery on Thursday June 20, 2013, in West Point, New York. (AP Photo/Philip Kamrass) #
An Afghan shepherd guides his flock of sheep along a desert path in Helmand province, on September 22, 2013. (USMC/Cpl. Paul Peterson) #
Afghan security personnel walk near bodies of Taliban fighters after a firefight in Torkham, on September 2, 2013. A group of Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a US base near the Pakistani border in eastern Afghanistan, sparking a three-hour shootout, officials said. No member of the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan was killed in the attack, said a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment man an observation post while 3rd Platoon, 87th Sapper Company conducts route clearance along Highway 1 Wardak province, on August 12, 2013. (U.S. Army/1st Lt. Yau-liong Tsai) #
Khudaidad Mohmand, 28, performs ablution for prayers in the Kabul River as the sun sets on the outskirts of Jalalabad, on June 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
Afghan boys play near their house in Kabul, on August 22, 2013. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
An Afghan policewoman beats a woman as she waits for a donation of food material during the month of Ramadan in Kabul, on August 1, 2013. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan footballers participate in a training session at Kabul stadium, on September 2, 2013. Some 144 Afghan footballers, who represent eight regional teams in the Afghan Premier League (APL), are accommodated in a sprawling house in the Afghan capital where they live, eat and sleep during the seven-week season, earning just 9 USD a day. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan security personnel investigate the site of an attack in Kabul, on June 10, 2013. Seven Taliban insurgents including suicide bombers attacked the main airport in the Afghan capital, with explosions and gunfire heard near an area that also houses major foreign military bases. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
Afghan municipality workers remove blood from a site of an explosion in Jalalabad province, on July 16, 2013. A bomb planted on a bicycle detonated killing at least two people and injuring three others, a police officer said. (Reuters/Parwiz) #

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