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October 26, 2009

Afghanistan, October, 2009

Over the past month in Afghanistan it became clear that a Presidential runoff vote between President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah would need to take place. The Obama administration continued to deliberate on whether to commit further troops to the conflict, and at least 46 U.S. service members were killed, including 14 in two separate helicopter crashes today. A recent U.N. report recorded 1,500 Afghan civilian deaths in the first six months of 2009 alone, describing this as the deadliest year for civilians in Afghanistan since the start of the U.S.-led war against Taliban eight years ago. Collected here are some images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)

An Afghan carpenter holds his prayer beads in front of his shop in Kabul October 19, 2009. (REUTERS/Ahmad Masood)

An Afghan girl stands on a hill at a cemetery as the UN-backed Independent Election Commission (IEC) comes out with their long awaited results on October 19, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) stated that, with votes from 210 polling stations thrown out due to allegations of fraud in the August 20 presidential election, President Hamid Karzai's percent of the vote fell to 48, just under the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off election, which could force President Hamid Karzai to accept a possible run-off against his top challenger Abdullah Abdullah. (Paula Bronstein /Getty Images) #

A crew member with the U.S. Army's Task Force Talon shows a fresh bullet hole, torn through the blade of a Black Hawk medevac helicopter which had been shot at and hit twice minutes earlier on a mission, in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

In this image taken on October 18, 2009, young Afghan day labourers Amin, 13 (R) and his brother Taza, 12 (L) make bricks on the outskirts of Kabul. The thousands of neatly-stacked sandy bricks baked in these coal-fired ovens are in high demand in the capital and across Afghanistan, as the country tries to rebuild after three decades of destructive conflict. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) #

MacAidan Gallegos, 5, receives a flag from Brigadier General Sean MacFarland as Amanda Doyle, MacAidan's mother, watches during the funeral services for Army Sgt. Justin Gallegos at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson, Ariz. Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009. The Department of Defense says Gallegos was one of eight U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009 during a fight with insurgents in a remote area near the Pakistan border. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Mamta Popat) #

Some of the regional campaign managers of Abdullah Abdullah, former Afghan foreign minister who ran against President Hamid Karzai in last August's vote, leave after a meeting in preparations for the Nov. 7 run-off presidential election in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #

Head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, works on his laptop onboard a C-130 aircraft after attending a meeting with Commanders of Regional Command - North and Afghan National Security Force, ANSF, delegation in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

An Afghan police officer wears bullet belts patrols in Kunduz, Afghanistan on October 22, 2009. (MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images) #

A rural Pashtun boy stands next to his home at sunrise October 14, 2009 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. Soldiers of the 1/501 scoured the Afghan countryside near the Pakistani border on a two-day mission into a tense part of Paktika province, an area that American soldiers had not patrolled for over three years. The troops were looking suspected Taliban weapons stores and hideouts. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

Afghan National Army Air Corps pilot Baktullah learns modern aviation tactics and procedures inside an Mi-17 helicopter simulator October 21, 2009 at the Kabul International Airport military base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The four year old Afghan National Army Air Corps is part of the ANA with 2,800 soldiers. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Soldiers from The Royal Scots Borderers say goodbye to their loved ones as they depart from Dreghorn Barracks for a six month tour of Afghanistan on September 30, 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Around one hundred soldiers from the battalions B company will be deployed to the Helmand Province area for the first time. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #

From right to left Arazo, 19, Tabasum, 20, and Shamayal, 25, who fled from abusive family members, stand for a picture in Kabul on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009. Afghanistan is poised to enact legislation that will outlaw the trading of women to settle a debt, spousal abuse and child marriages along with other violence targeting women - a bittersweet victory in a country where many victims say they don't expect laws to change such traditional practices, but one that its backers say nudges forward women's rights. (AP Photo/Farzana Wahidy) #

US Marines from Fox Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers patrol as a controlled detonation explodes in the distance, during day four of Operation Germinate into the restive Bhuji Bhast Pass in Farah Province, southern Afghanistan, on October 10, 2009. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images) #

The worn boot of a soldier in the 1/501st of the 25th Infantry Division is seen October 14, 2009 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. The soldiers were looking for the highest ground to camp out for the night, to protect themselves from attack from known Taliban cells in the area. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

A US Marine from Fox Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines takes a break from searching house-to-house during day three of Operation Germinate into the restive Bhuji Bhast Pass in Farah Province, southern Afghanistan, on October 9, 2009. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images) #

Canadian artillery gunners illuminated by a full moon prepare to reload their weapon in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, October 3, 2009. (REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly) #

Two Afghan women hold hands as they walk through a marketplace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

Rescue workers recover a body at the scene of a suicide bombing on October 8, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The explosion left 12 people dead and over 60 injured during what local authorities say was a targeted attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. (David Goldman/Getty Images) #

Afghan National Army soldier Nor Lai,20, recovers from shrapnel wounds to his face at the ANA Military hospital October 23, 2009 Kabul, Afghanistan. An IED hit their vehicle while the soldiers were on patrol in Kajaki district of Helmand killing one and injuring 7 soldiers. The military hospital gives medical care to all the Afghan military and police as well as civilians. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Asan Bibi, 9, (R) and her sister Salima,13, (L) stand in the hallway of Mirwais hospital October 13, 2009 Kandahar, Afghanistan. Both were badly burned when a helicopter fired into their tent in the middle of the night on October 3rd, according to their father. Three members of the family were killed in the incident. The family belongs to the Kuchi ethnic tribe, nomads living in tents out in the open desert whom are very vulnerable to a war they have little understanding of. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Seven-year-old Attiullah poses in front of an x-ray of the bullet that entered the small boy's back coming out through his chest standing by his bed at Mirwais hospital October 13, 2009 Kandahar, Afghanistan. According to his grandfather, Attiullah was shot by U.S forces as he was walking in the field near his home in the village of Sangissar, Panjway district watching the family's flock of sheep. The soldiers apparently shot at a vehicle that was supposedly Taliban and the boy was hit accidentally. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

Haji Abdul Hamid rests after his physical therapy session using his new prosthetics at the Handicapped International clinic inside the Mirwais hospital compound October 11, 2009 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Haji lost both of his legs from a IED blast along a road in Helmand over a year ago. He was injured while riding on his motorcycle along with his brother-in-law who was killed. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

US Army soldiers in the 1/501st of the 25th Infantry Division shield their faces from the powerful rotor wash of a Chinook cargo helicopter as they are picked up from a mission October 15, 2009 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

Afghan men sit, detained after they were caught by US Marines from Fox Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines with substances used to make IEDs, during day four of Operation Germinate into the restive Bhuji Bhast Pass in Farah Province, southern Afghanistan, on October 10, 2009. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Afghan child is vaccinated against polio during a polio eradication campaign in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 12, 2009. Around 7.7 million Afghan children are going to be vaccinated in a three days of a polio vaccination drive, launched by Afghan Health Ministry with the cooperation of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund in the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #

An Afghan boy runs with balloons to join his friends in dusty alley in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe) #

A horse-drawn caisson carries the remains of Army Capt. Ronald G. Luce, Jr., who was with 20th Special Forces Group, walking behind is widow Kendahl Shoemaker, and daughter Carle E. Luce, during funeral services at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. Luce, 27, of Fayetteville, N.C., was killed Aug. 2 by a roadside bomb in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) #

An Afghan roadside banana vendor waits for customers in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

US Army Specialist Kingsley (L), of 2nd Platoon, Baker Company, 2-12 Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fires on enemy positions as Private First Class Kicklighter (R) ducks behind his machine gun during an ambush at the village of Lanyal in the Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, eastern Afghanistan on October 20, 2009. (SIMON LIM/AFP/Getty Images) #

A German soldier mans a checkpoint in Balkh, Afghanistan on October 15, 2009. The soldiers and police are taking part in the Focused District Development (FDD) program where Afghan Police are been trained to take over the responsibilty for security. (MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man who is deemed insane is seen chained to a wall during his 40-day incarceration in a room at the Mia Ali Baba Shrine in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. It is believed that 40 days in chains and a restricted diet at the 300-year old shrine can cure the mentally ill and those possessed by djinns, or spirits. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #

Customers at a restaurant at Kandahar military base seek cover following a rocket alert on October 10, 2009. The military facility with more than 30,000 mostly military personnel is the southern base of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan the coalition fighting the Taliban insurgency together with the Afghan security forces. (ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

A former Taliban militant covers his face during a ceremony in which weapons were handed over to the Afghan government in the city of Herat province west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009. Around 50 Taliban militants from Herat province handed over their weapons as part of a peace-reconciliation program. (AP Photo/Fraidoon Pooyaa) #

During a firefight with Taliban militants U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan Christie, of Washington, Ind. with 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines sprints down an irrigation canal to a location to launch his rocket in Nawa district, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009. Taliban militants attacked the Marines on patrol using assault rifles, medium machine guns, and snipers. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) #

Afghan university students shout anti-US slogans during a demonstration on October 25, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghans gathered in the capital at a mass protest, burning an effigy of US President Barack Obama, after allegations were made that Western troops fighting the Taliban desecrated a copy of the Quran. (Majid/Getty Images) #

Photo made with the use of a night vision device shows German soldiers partol at night in Faizabad on October 17, 2009. (MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images) #

A US Marine reads a copy of Atlantic magazine as he rides on a CH-53 helicopter flying over Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, on October 12, 2009. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images) #

A dog, trained for dog-fighting, painted in orange stripes, pulls his master on a walk in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe) #

Pupils of the second year of the Turgani school sit in their classroom during a lesson on October 20, 2009 in Faizabad, Afghanistan. The teachers of this school are trained within two years at the Teacher Training Center, which is currently housed in rundown buildings and tents. The Center is being rebuilt with means provided by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images) #

German soldiers patrol in Mazar-i-Sharif on October 16, 2009. More than 4000 German troops are serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanstan. (MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Maj. Xavier Miller of the New Mexico National Guard, second from right, leads family members and workers in burying Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth W. Westbrook at the veterans' section of the Shiprock, N.M. Community Cemetery on Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. Westbrook was wounded Sept. 8 when insurgents attacked his unit in the Ganjigal Valley in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/The Daily Times, Xavier MascareƱas) #

An Afghan boy jumps to cross a stream, in Surabhi, some 100 kms from Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

Mohammad Dawood, who makes his living by engraving names on the grave stones, works in his shop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #