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The BEST of 2013: Award-winning press photos

Last updated on: February 19, 2013 15:42 IST

STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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The World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organisation based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Founded in 1955, the organisation is known for holding the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest.

The contest is judged by leading experts in visual journalism who represent various aspects of the profession.

The composition of the jury is changed from year to year, they operate independently, and a secretary who has no vote safeguards our fair and balanced judging procedure.

Rediff.com brings you some on the winners of this year's contest.

Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories.

Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad's brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.

Photographer: Paul Hansen, Sweden, Dagens Nyheter

World Press Photo of the Year 2012

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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A Free Syrian Army fighter takes up a position during clashes against government forces in the Sulemain Halabi district, Aleppo, Syria.

Photographer: Fabio Bucciarelli, Italy, Agence France-Presse.

Second prize spot, news stories

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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Pine trees uprooted during the tsunami lay strewn over the beach. One year later, areas of Japan most impacted by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 15,848 dead and 3,305 missing, continue to struggle.

Thousands of people remain living in temporary dwellings. The government faces an uphill battle with the need to dispose of rubble as it works to rebuild economies and livelihoods.

Photographer: Daniel Berehulak, Australia, Getty Images

Third prize, general news stories

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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A jockey, his feet stepped into a harness strapped to the bulls and clutching their tails, shows relief and joy at the end of a dangerous run across rice fields in Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Pacu Jawi (bull race) is a popular competition at the end of harvest season keenly contested between villages.

Photographer: Wei Seng Chen, Malaysia.

First prize sports -- sports action single

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt (top) in action against Peter Joppich of Germany during their Men's Foil Individual Round 16 match during the 2012 London Olympics.

Years of training, thousands of battles, and hundreds of victories prepared fencing competitors for the opportunity to stand on the piste at the 2012 London Olympic Games to fight for gold.

Photographer: Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia, European Pressphoto Agency

Second prize sports -- sports action stories

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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In Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia, young women risk their lives to play basketball. Suweys, the 19-year-old captain of a women's basketball team, and her friends defy radical Islamist views on women's rights.

They have received many death threats from not only al-Shabaab militias and radical Islamists, but some male members of their own families. "I just want to dunk," said Suweys. It is on the basketball court she feels happiest. "Basketball makes me forget all my problems."

The Somali basketball association pays armed guards to watch over and protect Suweys and her team when they play.

Photographer: Jan Grarup, Denmark, Laif

First prize sports -- sports features stories

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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Pausing in the rain, a woman working as a trash picker at the 30-acre dump in Nairobi, Kenya, which literally spills into households of one million people living in nearby slums, wishes she had more time to look at the books she comes across.

She even likes the industrial parts catalogs. "It gives me something else to do in the day besides picking (trash)," she said.

Photographer: Micah Albert, United States, Redux Images

First prize contemporary issues single

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Vietnam has historically been unwelcoming to same-sex relationships. But its Communist government is considering recognizing same-sex marriage, a move that would make it the first Asian country to do so, despite past human rights issues and a long-standing stigma.

Phan Thi Thuy Vy and Dang Thi Bich Bay, who have been together for one year, watch television to relax after studying at school, in Da Nang, Vietnam.

In August 2012, the country's first public gay pride parade took place in Hanoi.

Photographer: Maika Elan, Vietnam, Most

First prize contemporary issues stories

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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'American Girl' is a popular line of dolls that can be customized to look exactly like their owners. Kayla poses with her lookalike doll in front of a portrait of her ancestors in Boston, Massachusetts.

Photographer: Ilona Szwarc, Poland, Redux Pictures

Third prize people -- observed portraits single

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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After living with his father for 10 years and staying in a youth shelter, Martin, 18, returned home two years ago to live with his mother in Tilburg, the Netherlands. He arrived with some clothes in a bag and no work or degree.

Photographer: Ananda van der Pluijm, The Netherlands

Third prize people -- observed portraits stories

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STUNNING winners of the World Press Photo 2013 contest

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A portrait of Ai Wei Wei.

Photographer: Stefen Chow

Second prize people -- staged portraits single

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Guinea is one of the least developed countries in the world. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Three quarters of the population is illiterate.

Health care is substandard and unaffordable for most people. Some get help with their health problems from non governmental organisation Mercy Ships aboard the hospital ship 'African Mercy' docked in the capital Conakry.

They are treated by volunteer surgeons, doctors and nurses with such health issues as cataracts, teeth problems, and skin diseases to more complex orthopedic or tumor surgeries.

Makone Soumaoro, 30, who suffers from goiter, says, "I don't have pain, but I am worried that my neck swells that much. I hope it it is not a tumor because I am a housewife and my man and three children need me."

Photographer: Stephan Vanfleteren, Belgium, Panos for Mercy Ships/De Standaard

First prize people -- staged portraits stories

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The endangered Southern Cassowary feeds on the fruit of the Blue Quandang tree, on the Black Mountain Road, Australia. Cassowaries are a keystone species in northern Australian rainforests because of their ability to carry so many big seeds such long distances.

Photographer: Christian Ziegler, Germany

First prize nature single

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Even though they have evolved an incredibly advanced bubble physiology, the greatest challenge they face is the loss of sea ice that supports their colonies and ecosystem.

New science shows that Emperor Penguins are capable of tripling their swimming speed by releasing millions of bubbles from their feathers.

These bubbles reduce the friction between their feathers and the icy seawater, allowing them to accelerate in the water. They use speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour to avoid leopard seals and to launch themselves up onto the Antarctican ice.

Photographer: Paul Nicklen, Canada, National Geographic magazine

First prize nature stories

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TOP photo features of the week

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Tags: PHOTO , MORE , TOP

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