Afghanistan: August 2011

On August 6, 2011, American forces in Afghanistan suffered their single deadliest day in the nearly decade-long war, as Taliban insurgents shot down a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans. August continued to be a particularly deadly month for Afghan civilians, who bore the brunt of dozens of attacks and IED explosions across the country. According to the Associated Press, Afghan government officials were apparently angered when they learned of secret American talks with an emissary of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, and in reaction appear to have leaked details of the secret meetings, scuttling the talks and sending the emissary into hiding in Europe. As the U.S. continues its plan to withdraw combat forces by the end of 2014, a negotiated settlement between the Karzai government and the Taliban has become a major goal, but all sides involved are reportedly pursuing separate, often secret discussions with multiple contacts inside the insurgency. Gathered here are images from the ongoing conflict over the past 31 days, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (Editor's note, the next posting here will be on Sunday, September 4th)

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