“The United Nations issued a report on Wednesday stating that the number of civilians killed or wounded in Afghanistan rose by 23 percent in the first six months of 2013, with women and children faring the worst — killed by roadside bombs almost every day. An earlier UN report noted that “Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child”. Over a third of Afghans are living in abject poverty, violence is escalating as NATO forces withdraw, and years of international aid has done little to decrease the abuse of women and children. These children, growing up in a country torn by warfare for decades, do their best to live normal lives — learning to cope with the dangers, finding time to play when they can, and learning lessons from the adults all around them.” These 44 telling photos below are part of the ongoing series on The Atlantic on Afghanistan, which does more than any report replete with figures to bring home what still continues in the country each new day.
A young amputee practices walking with her prosthetic legs at an International Committee of the Red Cross hospital for war victims and the disabled in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, on May 1, 2013. (Farshad Usyan/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, Lance Corporal Chris Sanderson, (rear) and Sergeant Travis Dawson, (front) protect an Afghan man and his child after Taliban fighters opened fire in the town of Marjah, in Helmand province, on February 13, 2010. U.S.-led NATO troops launched an offensive against the Taliban’s last big stronghold in Afghanistan’s most violent province and were quickly thrown into a firefight with the militants. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
An Afghan girl practices the martial arts with a sword at a Wosho training club in Injil, Herat province, on April 6, 2011. (AP Photo)
An Afghan boy wearing a t-shirt depicting U.S. President Barack Obama peeks from the doorway of his home in an old neighborhood of Kabul, on July 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)
A boy holds his donkey outside a timber market in Kabul, on November 2, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)