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Khamis, 3 Mac 2011
AFGHANISTAN FEBRUARI 2011
A US Marine fires a missile (shown in four frames) from the Mirage patrol base in Helmand province on Feb. 8. On the same day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he was in talks with the United States about the possible establishment of permanent US military bases in his country
The buildup of forces in Afghanistan is complete, with the number of US troops there the highest yet. The surge is part of President Obama’s campaign to take the battle to the Taliban strongholds in the south and east, while accelerating training of Afghan security forces. In February, suicide attacks by militants increased, and villagers and Afghan officials accused NATO of killing a large number of civilians in airstrikes. The images in this month's post show Afghans and NATO-led soldiers working and living through moments of sheer terror and numbing poverty. Through the strife, we see glimpses of the enduring human spirit.
Afghan National Police servicemen join patrols by the Marines Feb. 5 outside the Mirage base, Musa Qala District in Helmand province. US-led NATO troops are under a deadline across Afghanistan to train local forces to take responsibility for their country's security by 2014.
A young Pakistani security guard holds his gun as he checks the gate of a terminal where NATO fuel trucks are parked in Quetta, Pakistan, on Feb. 7. Fuel for NATO troops in southern Afghanistan is transported along dangerous routes by impoverished Pakistani drivers. The war, now in its 10th year, consumes 1.5 million gallons, about 100 truckloads, of fuel a day, according to NATO forces.
Pakistani police officials and firefighters battle flames that erupted from the wreckage of NATO oil tankers on Feb. 26 in Peshawar. The blast from a timed device struck a day after two dozen militants attacked the compound.
Marines from the First Battalion, Eighth Marines Alpha Company return to their base at the end of a patrol near the town of Kunjak in Helmand province on Feb. 23.
US armored vehicles patrol near the site of explosion in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar on Feb, 24. A suicide bomber blew himself up, killing one Afghan intelligence service officer and wounding more than two dozen other people.
Two Afghan girls watch Marines secure an area after the patrol found mortar devices on Feb. 22 in Garmser, southern Afghanistan.
A woman begs in Kabul, Feb. 7. Despite billions of dollars donated by foreign countries, Afghanistan remains among the poorest countries in the world
Afghan boys turn a broken Ferris wheel into their own jungle gym at a park in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Many in this impoverished city still feel insecure even after 10 years of NATO presence in the capital of the province that was the birthplace of the Taliban.
Afghans carry the casket containing the body of Malam Awal Gul, an Afghan prisoner, during a burial ceremony on Feb. 7 in Jalalabad, east of Kabul. Gul had died at the US detention prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Australian engineers carry the casket of their colleague Corporal Richard Atkinson at Multinational Base Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province, on Feb. 5. Atkinson, 22, was killed by an improvised explosive device during a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army in the Tangi Valley. He is one of 24 Australians who have been killed in Afghanistan; the country has about 1,500 defense forces in the country.