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Year's Best: Award winning PHOTOS from around the world

Last updated on: February 14, 2012 08:16 IST

Award winning PHOTOS from around the world

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The World Press Photo Awards are considered to be the most prestigious awards in the field of photojournalism. Rediff.com brings you the best photographs from across the world that won the top honours at the World Press Photo Contest.

Category: World Press Photo of the Year

Photographer: Samuel Aranda

Caption: A woman holds a wounded relative in her arms, inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on October 15, 2011.

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Category: Sports, 2nd prize stories

Photographer: Adam Pretty

Image: Divers practice during the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Centre in Shanghai, China.

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Category: Contemporary Issues, 1st prize singles

Photographer: Brent Stirton

Image: Maria, a drug addict and sex worker, in between clients in a room she rents in Kryvyi Rig, Ukraine. Maria injects drugs on a daily basis and sees many men every week but claims she remains HIV negative. She says she needs the money to support herself, her drug habit and her nine-year-old daughter.

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Category: Portraits, 1st prize singles

Photographer: Laerke Posselt

Image: The 27-year-old Iranian-born actress Mellica Mehraban grew up in Denmark, but debuted as an actor in Iran in 2011. Taking the leading role as a villain in the spy drama Fox Hunting, she learned firsthand about the culture of her native country: following a regime-approved script, she was required to wear a head scarf in all scenes, forbidden from swearing, and learned to show that she was in love with a man without telling him or touching him.

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Category: Spot News, 2nd prize stories

Photographer: Niclas Hammarstrom

Image: Police helicopters circle Utoya searching for the gunman. Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people on July 22 on the small island of Utoya outside Oslo in Norway.

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Category: Daily Life, 1st prize stories

Photographer: Alejandro Kirchuk

Image: Monica lies in bed, while Marcos talks on the phone. Marcos, 89, and Monica, 87, have been married and living in their apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 65 years.

In 2007, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Since that moment, her husband devoted all his time to take care of her. The disease is considered a future epidemic because it mainly affects older people, and as life expectancy is annually increasing in global population, the disease is becoming increasingly common.

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Category: Arts and Entertainment, 2nd prize singles

Photographer: Vincent Boisot

Image: A model poses in front of tailor stalls in the centre of Dakar, Senegal. She wears the creation of a designer, Yolande Mancini, participating in the 9th edition of Dakar Fashion Week.

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Category: Spot News, 1st prize singles

Photographer: Yuri Kozyrev

Image: Rebels in Ras Lanuf, Libya. For weeks, rebels held out against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with the hope that the world would come to their aid.

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Category: People in the News, 1st prize stories

Photographer: Yasuyoshi Chiba

Image: Nozomi Sabanai (left), together with her sister, looks at a catamaran sightseeing boat that was thrown by the tsunami onto a two-story building, at Otsuchi town, Iwate prefecture, Japan.

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Category: Daily Life, 1st prize singles

Photographer: Damir Sagolj

Image: A picture of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung, decorates a building in the capital Pyongyang.

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Category: Arts and Entertainment, 1st prize stories

Photographer: Rob Hornstra

Image: Marika Bajur sings Kuriu in the restaurant Eurasia. The southern Russian city of Sochi lies on the Black Sea and attracts predominantly Russian holidaymakers who come for a mix of sun, sea, sand and nightlife.

Restaurants are plentiful and competition is fierce, with every restaurant employing a regular live musician blasting popular Russian songs.

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Category: People in the News, 2nd prize singles

Photographer: Tomasz Lazar

Image: Arrest of protesters in Harlem, New York, during a demonstration against police tactics and income inequality.

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Category: Contemporary Issues, 1st prize stories

Photographer: Stephanie Sinclair

Image: Tahani (in pink), who married her husband Majed when she was 6 and he was 25, poses for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen.

Nearly half of all women in Yemen were married as children. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language and religion.

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Category: General News, 1st prize singles

Photographer: Alex Majoli

Image: Protesters cry, chant and scream in Cairo's Tahrir Square, after listening to the speech in which Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would not give up power.

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Category: Nature, 1st prize stories

Photographer: Brent Stirton

Image: A man holds up a large rhino horn in the African bush near Klerksdorp, South Africa. The horn has just been removed from a White Rhino in order to save it from poaching.

Rhino horn is now worth more than gold on the international market. South Africa alone has lost more than 400 rhino to illegal poaching incidents in 2011. The demand for Rhino horn is fueled by a wealthy Asian middle and upper class and used overwhelmingly as medication.

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Category: Sports, 2nd prize singles

Photographer: Ray McManus

Image: Action from a rugby match between Old Belvedere and Blackrock played in heavy rain in Dublin, Ireland.

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Category: Portraits, 2nd prize stories

Photographer: Ton Koene

Image: New Afghan police recruits at the German police training centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan. All are illiterate; they are farmer sons from rural areas who never had any education and are joining the police for economic reasons. Their loyalty to the government is thin.

A police officer earns around $170 per month (about Rs 8,500), and due to harsh living and working conditions and as well the high risk for being killed by the Taliban, many decide to leave the police force before their contract ends.

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Category: Nature, 1st prize singles

Photographer: Jenny E Ross

Image: A male polar bear climbs precariously on the face of a cliff above the ocean at Ostrova Oranskie in northern Novaya Zemlya, attempting to feed on seabird eggs.

This bear was marooned on land and unable to feed on seals -- its normal prey -- because sea ice had melted throughout the region and receded far to the north as a result of climate change.

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