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January 31, 2011
Helmand province from above
Helmand province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the southwest region of the country. The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region, providing water for irrigation. Much of the fighting between NATO and Taliban forces is taking place in this province and Helmand is said to be a Taliban stronghold.
Associated Press photojournalist Kevin Frayer recently sent out a group of stark black-and-white aerial images that show the rugged, inhospitable terrain of the province. Frayer made the images while flying in a medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment.
(19 images)

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In this aerial photo taken Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, an Afghan shepherd directs his sheep through an opening in a mud wall as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Mara in the volatile Helm and Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer


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In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, Afghans work in a traditional brick factory as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



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In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, Afghans play soccer as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



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In this aerial photo taken Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, a cemetery is seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_05.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, U.S. Marines drive in military vehicles as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



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In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, smoke is seen marking the landing area for a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment on a mission near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_07.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, the shadow of a medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment comes in to land on a mission near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



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In this aerial photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, U.S. Marines gather around a colleague wounded by an improvised explosive device as they wait for a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_09.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, an Afghan boy stands in a field as he looks up at a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_10.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, the town of Marjah is seen form a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_11.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, an Afghan man rides past camels as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_12.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, camels are seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_13.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, a section of the Helmand River Valley is seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_14.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, a section of the Helmand River Valley is seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_15.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, an Afghan vehicle moves through the open desert as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_16.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, the Helmand River is seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_17.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, Afghan men stand next to an auto rickshaw near farmers' fields as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_18.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, an Afghan man leads camels across the desert as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



helmand_above_19.jpg
In this aerial photo taken Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, a NATO military re-supply convoy kicks up dust in the desert as seen from a medevac helicopter of the U.S. Army's Task Force Shadow "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment near Marjah in the volatile Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. AP / Kevin Frayer



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