A boy on his bike, with a U.S. Stryker following behind, in the Panjwai district center in southern Afghanistan. For years, this area was one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. But it is now considered safe as Afghans prepare to vote in a presidential election Saturday. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Afghan Special Forces converge on an Independent Election Commission office after the Taliban launched an assault on the compound Tuesday in Kabul. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests outside the offices while gunmen stormed the building. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram. Afghan authorities released 65 prisoners from there Thursday. Massoud Hossaini/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Massoud Hossaini/AP

Afghan presidential candidates Qayum Karzai (from left), Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah take part in a televised debate in Kabul on Saturday. With President Hamid Karzai stepping down, the presidential election set for April 5 will mark the first time the country has changed leaders at the ballot box. Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images