The announcement this week that six winning candidates in Iraq's March 7 parliamentary election have ties to the former regime of Saddam Hussein and must be disqualified jeopardizes the slim margin of victory for Iraq's former prime minister, Ayad Allawi (shown here in February).
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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.
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Yemeni protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in the Radfan district of Lahj in southern Yemen on Dec. 24, 2009, against a government raid that targeted suspected al-Qaida members.
Police officers from the district of Argu swing away with long sticks to eradicate a patch of illegally grown poppies in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. The opium trade is a key source of funding for the Taliban — but counterterrorism experts say it will take more than shutting down opium production to crack the Taliban's finances.