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PHOTO Album: The long war in Afghanistan

Last updated on: June 23, 2011 12:20 IST

PHOTO Album: The long war in Afghanistan

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United States President Barack Obama has announced that he will withdraw 33,000 Americans troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012, beginning with an initial drawdown of 10,000 surge forces by this year-end.

By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security, he says.

But is Afghanistan ready to stand on its own feet? Is it because US casualties are on the rise in embattled nation? That's something only time can tell. For now, let's take a look at some scenes from the battlefront.

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Image: US Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province
Photographs: Baz Ratner/Reuters
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Image: Members of the US Navy carry a comrade wounded by an explosion to a medevac helicopter in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan
Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters
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PHOTO Album: The long war in Afghanistan

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Image: An Afghan army soldier takes up position during a joint patrol with US army soldiers from Delta Company, a part of Task Force 1-66, near the village of Mohammad D'Jakub, Arghandab River valley, Kandahar province
Photographs: Oleg Popov/Reuters
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PHOTO Album: The long war in Afghanistan

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Image: Captain Melvin Cabebe with the US Army's 1-320 Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division stands near a burning M-ATV armored vehicle after it struck an improvised explosive device near Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar
Photographs: Bob Strong/Reuters
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Image: A US Marine Corps V-22 Osprey aircraft flies between Camp Leatherneck and Village Stabilization Platform (VSP) Hyderabad in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. A command contingent from Regional Command Southwest toured VSP Hyderabad, a new International Security Assistance Force outpost in Helmand Province
Photographs: Lance Cpl Justin Williams/DoD
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Image: US Marines with the Battalion Landing Team 3/8, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Regimental Combat Team 8, prepare to fire a 120mm mortar at Combat Outpost Ouellette, Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 6, 2011. This was the first time the new Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System's Ballistic Computer 11 software was used in the field
Photographs: Gunnery Sgt Bryce Piper/DoD
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PHOTO Album: The long war in Afghanistan

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Image: A US Airman with the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron loads cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for an air delivery mission to Afghanistan. The cargo, consisting of fuel and other supplies, was airdropped to a remote forward operating base in Afghanistan
Photographs: Master Sgt Adrian Cadiz/DoD
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Image: An Afghan national, who is a possible suspect, is detained in one of the compounds US Marines hold, in Marjah district, Helmand province
Photographs: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters
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Image: Afghan men wait to be searched at a checkpoint at Delaram district in Nimroz province
Photographs: Marko Djurica/Reuters
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Image: A US soldier, wounded by sniper fire, is evacuated by his comrades in the village of Bargematal, Nuristan province
Photographs: Oleg Popov/Reuters
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Image: An Afghan man places his hands over his head as US soldiers search his truck for weapons near Sanjaray in Zhari district
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Image: A dust-covered Afghan National Army soldier with a flower tucked behind his ear rides on the back of a vehicle during a patrol near Panjwaii town
Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters
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Image: A defused mortar head is planted during a mine and unexploded ordnances awareness class for school boys in Qarabagh district, north of Kabul
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters
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Image: US Air Force Maj Loren Coulter exits an A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Photographs: Senior Airman Willard E Grande II/DoD
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Image: Four US Navy F/A-18 Hornet aircraft fly over mountains in Afghanistan
Photographs: Staff Sgt Andy M Kin/DoD
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Image: A US Marine, top, and an Afghan National Army soldier clear a building during a patrol in Sangin Valley, Helmand province, Afghanistan
Photographs: Lance Cpl Dexter S Saulisbury/DoD
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Image: A US Marine fires a mortar round during combat operations at Forward Operating Base Nolay, Afghanistan
Photographs: Lance Cpl James B Novle/DoD
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Image: US Army Pfc Ryan L Carson, a member of the company intelligence support team of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Bulldog, and an Afghan police officer search a hillside at the Shege East Afghan National Police Checkpoint in the Kunar province of Afghanistan prior to a firefight. Approximately two dozen insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and small arms at the post
Photographs: Staff Sgt Gary A Witte/US Army
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Image: A soldier takes a nap after taking part in an operation in Kandahar
Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters
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Image: Pfc Chris Paterson, a native of Hudson, Ohio, holds his daughter Aliva and son Foster before deploying to Afghanistan from Fort Drum, New York. Paterson is an infantryman assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team.
Photographs: Sgt 1st Class John Queen/DoD
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