Afghan motorists pass a U.S. soldier on patrol last month in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province. U.S. and Canadian forces have announced a major upcoming offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar, the group's stronghold and spiritual birthplace.
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Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (shown here in Iran in 2001), leader of the militant Hizb-i-Islami group, has recently made peace overtures to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But observers are unsure about his motives.
Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images
An Afghan security officer tries to stop photographers from taking pictures outside The Park Residence guesthouse at the site of a gun battle in the Shar-e Naw district in Kabul on Feb. 26.
Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images
Haji Zahir, the new governor of Marjah in Helmand province, listens to residents' grievances Monday. It was the first time an Afghan government official visited the former Taliban stronghold in two years.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR