kabul province

Patched

A U.S. Army Cultural Support Team member with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force scans the terrain while sitting in the back of a Humvee in Sarobi district, Kabul province, Afghanistan, Dec. 6, 2013. CSTs were traveling to multiple villages in order to speak with local women and children about issues within their community, and to address their medical needs. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Sara Wakai/Released)

AFGHANISTAN, Kabul Province. Kabul. August 25, 2017. Afghan policemen try to rescue four-year-old Ali Ahmad at the site of a suicide attack followed by a clash between Afghan forces and ISIS gunmen at a Shi'ite Muslim mosque. The boy survived, and is now back with his family, but still suffers nightmares, his father said.

Ali Ahmad was with his grandfather in the Imam Zaman mosque when at least two attackers in police uniforms stormed in, one exploding a suicide-bomb vest and the other firing indiscriminately at the hundreds of worshippers inside. His grandfather was among at least 20 killed. Sayed Bashir, Ali’s father, was nearby but not in the mosque when the initial blast was heard and immediately ran to check on his family. “Right after the explosion I thought everything was finished,” he said. “I called my father’s mobile phone number and my son answered and said: ‘They killed grandpa.’ He wanted me to bring the car and get him. We were running everywhere in search of my son but the police were stopping us and didn’t let us get too close.” Bashir called the number again and was speaking to Ali when another explosion went off. “I lost hope. I said to myself that everything was finished. I tried the number again but it was switched off.” In fact, Ali had run behind the mosque, disregarding the policeman frantically signalling to him in the courtyard.

Photograph: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

U.S. Special Forces soldiers, attached to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, prepare to enter and clear a room while conducting a close-quarter battle drill at a shoot house, Kabul province, Afghanistan, Jan. 23, 2014.

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Training “Tank”

U.S. Special Forces dog handler, attached to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, conducts training with his multi-use military working dog, Tank, in the Kabul province, Afghanistan, Nov. 29, 2013. Tank has been trained to detect the scent of improvised explosive devices (IED’s) and has been successful in finding them while conducting operations with the 6th Special Operations Kandak (SOK). (U.S.Army photo by Spc. Connor Mendez/Released)

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AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Kabul. May 31, 2017. At a Kabuli hospital after a truck bomb detonated in the diplomatic quarter of the city, causing over 150 casualties, the deadliest attack since 2001. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but the Haqqani network is seen as the likeliest culprit. Reuters photographer Omar Sobhani’s testimony of the event.

Photographs: Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Kabul. 1996. A woman makes her way through the devastated capital. After the fall of the communist regime, Kabul became a playground between various warlords for four years (1992-1996), until it was captured by the Taliban. More than 30,000 people died during that period, the vast majority of them civilians.

Photograph: James Nachtwey

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AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Kabul. May 31, 2017. Aftermath of a truck bombing in the diplomatic quarter of the capital which caused over 150 casualties, the deadliest attack since 2001. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but the Haqqani network is seen as the likeliest culprit.

I was on the way to work with colleagues, Mohammad Ismail, a photographer, and TV cameraman Mohammad Aziz when the car started shaking on the road.

At first we thought it was an earthquake but we quickly realised it was a very big explosion. We were a couple of kilometres away and we could see a tower of smoke rising into the sky and drove straight to the scene.

I got out and my two colleagues went to the hospital because we could already see people with blood-stained faces and clothes running past us.

Normally when we get to the scene and need fast pictures, we’ll shoot something quickly on our smartphones and send them off at once. But this time, we decided to use our full cameras straight away.

There was a lot of smoke and fire, and around 10 wrecked vehicles on the road. First, I had to make sure there wasn’t going to be any kind of follow-up attack, which is something that has often happened in the past. Once it looked clear I went towards the blast site.

I couldn’t see very much because of the smoke but I could hear a number of wounded people calling out and one man was talking on a mobile phone, telling friends where to find him.

As I went forward, I came across a person lying on the ground. I shot four or five shots quickly and he started asking for help.

I went to try to help him but security forces were arriving at the same time and pushed me back. I watched him being put into an ambulance and carried off.

However much you see, these things still affect you strongly. I think about all these young people, women with blood on their faces and that night was very, very sad.

I talked to my wife about it, all those people are members of a family as well. It’s very, very sad for me and for anyone who’s human.

Photographs: Omar Sobhani/Reuters

AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Kabul. November 2014. Rahimoolah, Hamza and Islamudding are National Afghan Army soldiers who had amputations and other injuries. Here they are seen adjusting their prosthetics between physiotherapy sessions at the International Committee of the Red Cross orthopaedic centre.

Photograph: Bryan Denton/The New York Times/Redux

AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Kabul. August 2011. A wounded Afghan policeman is carried away from the site of an attack on offices belonging to the British Council. Taliban bombers killed two Afghan policemen and a civilian when they attacked offices belonging to the British Council and the United Nations in the centre of the Afghan capital, police said. 

Photograph: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

AFGHANISTAN. Kabul Province. Outside Kabul. Afghan policewomen handle AMD-65 rifles at a dusty firing range. Joining the police force is a bold decision for an Afghan woman. Insurgents often attack the police. Very few women get permission to sign up from their husband and male relatives. Of 100,000 officers, only about 700 are female. Yet women are welcome recruits. They can take on tasks that men cannot because of Islamic custom: frisking other women, searching homes where female family members are present. Many who take the job are widows of fallen officers cast in the role of breadwinner. The pay is about $165 a month.

Photograph: Lynsey Addario