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Donkey ride through a sun-dappled forest in Afghanistan

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

A man and child ride a donkey along a road leading into the small town of Baharak in Northeastern Afghanistan in the late afternoon on October 6, 2012.

The town is located in a fertile valley which is fed by the Kokcha river and is ringed by rugged arid mountains to the north and south. The province of Badakhshan, which shares borders with Tajikistan, China and Pakistan, is mostly inhabited by ethnic Tajik, Uzbek and Kyrgyz people.

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Aref Karimi / AFP - Getty Images

More than ten years after the beginning of the war, Afghanistan faces external pressure to reform as well as ongoing internal conflicts.