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January 25, 2010
Life in Afghanistan
LONDON (AP) -- An international conference on Afghanistan will likely endorse a program to lure Taliban fighters to lay down their weapons, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday. Britain will host talks Thursday in London regarding strategy in Afghanistan, including the Afghan government's plan to pay Taliban fighters return to mainstream society. He told reporters it is "right to believe that over the long-term we can split the Taliban" and encourage many of those waging war against international troops to stop. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and foreign ministers will attend the talks. They will discuss rapidly increasing the size of the Afghan police force and army and creating a tentative timetable for international troops to hand over security to local forces. (19 images)

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Afghan children react as Cpl. Jesse Starko from Edmonton, Alberta from the Canadian Army Reservists attached to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry walks past during an operation in Kandahar City, southern Afghanistan Thursday, Jan. 21. AP / Kirsty Wigglesworth


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Soldiers with the U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion patrol the main street of Zerak Jan. 23, next to their Combat Outpost (COP) in Zerak, Afghanistan. The soldiers went to the town to try and gather information following a rocket and mortar attack on COP Zerak yesterday. COP Zerak, located in Paktika Province, works disrupting and suppressing Taliban routes into Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan. The province, which is roughly the size of Vermont, shares a restive and porous 600 kilometer border with Pakistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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Soldiers with the U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion head for a mountain to search for enemy fighters following an afternoon rocket and mortar attack on their base at Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 22, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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Area men participate in a weekly Shura, or meeting, at the local district center outside of Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 21, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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Corp. Nicholas Birkner with the U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion and of Fairview Heights, Ill. works out in the gym at Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 21, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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Soldiers with U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion stand inside protective shelter during an afternoon rocket and mortar attack on Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 22, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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A soldier with a 9/ 11 tattoo stands with other soldiers with U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion inside protective shelter during an afternoon rocket and mortar attack on Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 22, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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Soldiers with the U.S. Army Able Company, 3-509 Infantry Battalion return to base after a mountain search for enemy fighters following an afternoon rocket and mortar attack on their base at Combat Outpost (COP) Zerak on Jan. 22, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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A man is searched for weapons by a member of the Afghan National Police (ANP) Jan. 23, in Zerak, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Spencer Platt



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Second hand clothes are displayed for sale as a seller checks the size of a customer at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, Jan. 25. AP / Musadeq Sadeq



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An Afghan shopkeeper hammers a nail for hanging some of his belongings for sale at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, Jan. 25. AP / Musadeq Sadeq



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An Afghan boy walks towards a mosque for holy Quran lessons in an early morning in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, Jan. 25. AP / Farzana Wahidy



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An Afghan girl in traditional attire kisses the hand of Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanief Atmar upon his arrival to attend a function to honor policemen in their response to the recent Taliban assault on the center of Kabul at police headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Jan. 25. AP / Altaf Qadri



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An Afghan girl is seen in Ghalbalay, a village in the Pech Valley, Kunar province, northeastern Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 23. The girl was watching as U.S. Army officers from the 2-12 Infantry discussed local development projects with her father, a local elder, during a pause in a patrol. AP / Brennan Linsley



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The shadow of a U.S. Army soldier of Task Force Lethal with the 2-12 Infantry, is cast on a mud wall as he helps clear an area used recently as a firing position by Taliban militants, during a patrol in the Pech Valley, Kunar province, northeastern Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 24. AP / Brennan Linsley



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Covering his fellow soldiers while they oversee the search of a building by Afghan soldiers, U.S. Army Pfc. Paul Scherlek, of Townsend, Mass., of the 2-12 Infantry, trains his scope on the near distance looking for threats, as a boy sits on a wall next to him, during a patrol in the Pech Valley, Kunar province, northeastern Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 24. AP / Brennan Linsley



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Members of a U.S. Army mortar team fire on Taliban positions with a 120mm mortar, at Combat Outpost Michigan, in the Pech Valley, Kunar province, northeastern Afghanistan, Thursday Jan. 21. The soldiers from the 2-12 Infantry, Task Force Lethal at COP Michigan regularly receive small and large-arms fire from Taliban militants who operate in the hillsides overlooking the base. AP / Brennan Linsley



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U.S. Army soldier Pfc. Paul Scherlek, of Townsend, Mass., from Dagger Company, 2-12 Infantry, jumps a sewage canal while on patrol in Kandilak, a village in the Pech Valley, Kunar province, northeastern Afghanistan, Thursday Jan. 21. AP / Brennan Linsley



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A U.S.soldier walks into a bathroom in a steel container, at Combat Outpost Michigan, in the Pech Valley, Kunar province, northeastern Afghanistan, Monday Jan. 25. AP / Brennan Linsley



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