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Afghanistan Conflict

Finbarr O'Reilly - 07 Oct 2011
Finbarr O'Reilly - 07 Oct 2011
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1V80J
October 22, 2007
"On October 23, 2007, the Canadian troops I was embedded with were ambushed by the Taliban. A shell...
HOWZ-E-MADAD, Afghanistan
A wounded Canadian soldier crawls for cover after his position was hit by a Taliban shell in southern...
"On October 23, 2007, the Canadian troops I was embedded with were ambushed by the Taliban. A shell exploded nearby sending Sgt.-Maj. Paul Pilote flying. I couldn't see Pilote at first, but then he emerged crawling dazed and injured through the dust. I was probably photographing to suppress my own fear as much as to get a good picture. The image ran the next day on front pages across Canada. I heard later that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Canadian commander in Kandahar to ask what was going on. The truth is nothing was going on -- this was a daily situation of troops in combat and the only difference is that a photographer was there to capture the moment. It reminded me how far removed decision-makers can be from the reality on the ground and of the importance of being there to record what is happening." Caption: Injured Canadian Sgt.-Maj. Paul Pilote from the NATO-led coalition crawls for cover seconds after his position was hit by a Taliban shell fired from an 82-millimetre recoilless rifle during an ambush in Zahri district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1V81R
October 23, 2007
"This was the frame I took of Sgt.-Maj. Paul Pilote (C) moving for cover moments before a shell struck...
HOWZ-E-MADAD, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition moves under fire as an Afghan machine gunner shoots his...
"This was the frame I took of Sgt.-Maj. Paul Pilote (C) moving for cover moments before a shell struck the opposite side of the mud wall and sent him flying (see previous picture). He suffered a concussion and superficial wounds but was otherwise alright." Caption: Afghan machine gunner shoots his weapon after their position was hit by Taliban shells fired from an 82-millimeter recoilless rifle during an ambush in Zahri district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 23, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1REQP
July 03, 2007
"This photo was taken during my first Afghan firefight. At that time I had covered Africa for six years...
SANGASAR, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier of India Company from the NATO-led coalition crawls through a ditch during a firefight...
"This photo was taken during my first Afghan firefight. At that time I had covered Africa for six years and I'd experienced conflicts, armed clashes and civil unrest before, but I had never marched directly into battle with a unit intent on engaging the enemy." Caption: A Canadian soldier of India Company from the NATO-led coalition crawls through a ditch during a firefight against Taliban insurgents in Sangasar, Zahri district in eastern Afghanistan, July 3, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1RHNR
July 05, 2007
"Access to combat was surprisingly easy. I arrived in Afghanistan on a Friday, moved to a smaller base...
SANGSAR, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition looks through foliage to Taliban insurgent positions 20...
"Access to combat was surprisingly easy. I arrived in Afghanistan on a Friday, moved to a smaller base on Saturday and was on my first combat operation on Sunday night. By sunrise on Monday, the Canadians were fighting the Taliban at close quarters." Caption: A Canadian soldier of India company from the NATO-led coalition looks through foliage to Taliban insurgent positions 20 meters (60 feet) away during a firefight near Sangsar, Zahri district in southeastern Afghanistan, July 3, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1RHNC
July 05, 2007
"Covering combat is a strange experience. Everything seems to slow down and unfold with an unusual clarity....
SANGSAR, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier of India company from the NATO-led coalition climbs over a mud wall in a grape field...
"Covering combat is a strange experience. Everything seems to slow down and unfold with an unusual clarity. It can be harrowing, but you quickly adjust to the extremes. Returning to the banality of 'real world' afterward can sometimes be a more difficult adjustment." Caption: A Canadian soldier of India company from the NATO-led coalition climbs over a mud wall in a grape field during a firefight with Taliban insurgents near Sangsar, Zahri district in southeastern Afghanistan, July 3, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1RHNZ
July 05, 2007
"Until the American surge, Canada formed the bulk of the NATO fighting force in Afghanistan. As a Canadian...
SANGSAR, Afghanistan
Canadian soldiers from the NATO-led coalition seek cover in a ditch during a firefight against Taliban...
"Until the American surge, Canada formed the bulk of the NATO fighting force in Afghanistan. As a Canadian it was important to cover." Caption: Canadian soldiers of India company from the NATO-led coalition seek cover in a ditch while planning their next move during a firefight against Taliban insurgents near Sangsar, Zahri district in southeastern Afghanistan, July 3, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1REM5
July 03, 2007
"It's easy to be seduced by the machinery and muscle of war, at least at first. But there are constant...
SANGASAR, Afghanistan
Canadian troops from India Company and the NATO-led coalition evacuate a wounded Taliban fighter near...
"It's easy to be seduced by the machinery and muscle of war, at least at first. But there are constant reminders of the human toll. On this day, a handful of Taliban were killed or wounded." Caption: Canadian troops from India Company and the NATO-led coalition evacuate a wounded Taliban fighter near Sangasar, Zari district in eastern Afghanistan, July 3, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN
RTR1RDDE
July 02, 2007
"Of course much of war is boredom and routine. Troops generally kill time by watching movies or exercising."...
Kandahar, Afghanistan
Canadian troops from the NATO-led coalition march on a morning exercise drill at the forward operating...
"Of course much of war is boredom and routine. Troops generally kill time by watching movies or exercising." Caption: Canadian troops from the NATO-led coalition march on a morning exercise drill at the forward operating base of Ma'sum Ghar, Afghanistan, July 2, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN-CANADA
RTR2846D
September 21, 2009
"It's common to see makeshift weights at spartan bases. This place at least had real weights. Many other...
PANJWAII, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier lifts weights in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province
"It's common to see makeshift weights at spartan bases. This place at least had real weights. Many other bases I've been to used poles and barbed wire." Caption: A Canadian soldier lifts weights in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 21, 2009.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1REMB
July 03, 2007
"Many operations or patrols set out at night when it is impossible to photograph due to lack of light....
SANGASAR, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition conducts a night operation to flush out Taliban insurgents...
"Many operations or patrols set out at night when it is impossible to photograph due to lack of light. Of course using flash is not an option, but on this occasion, a full moon allowed for a blurred image." Caption: A Canadian soldier from the NATO-led coalition conducts a night operation to flush out Taliban insurgents near Sangasar, Zari district in eastern Afghanistan, July 3, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN
RTXP9GU
October 03, 2009
"There's no way to sleep through an artillery barrage being fired outside your tent, so you may as well...
PANJWAII, Afghanistan
Canadian artillery gunners illuminated by a full moon prepare to reload their weapon in the Panjwaii...
"There's no way to sleep through an artillery barrage being fired outside your tent, so you may as well take pictures, even in the dark." Caption: Canadian artillery illuminated by a full moon recoils after firing in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, October 3, 2009.
AFGHANISTAN-CANADA
RTR27YGJ
September 17, 2009
"This image for me represents the scale of the individual in the vast Afghan landscape and the murkiness...
PANJWAII, Afghanistan
A Canadian soldier walks through a dust cloud during an operation in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar...
"This image for me represents the scale of the individual in the vast Afghan landscape and the murkiness of war. There is also something desolate and lonely about it. I was probably feeling a bit of that on this day." Caption: A Canadian soldier walks through a dust cloud during an operation in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, September 17, 2009.
AFGHANISTAN
RTXU26U
October 31, 2010
"The Canadians used to always lend me night vision goggles, but when I was with the U.S. Marines they...
NABUK, Afghanistan
A Marine aims his rifle during a night patrol in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province
"The Canadians used to always lend me night vision goggles, but when I was with the U.S. Marines they never had any spares, so I would have to stumble along in the dark over rocks and stones in areas laced with I.E.D.s or roadside bombs. It was pretty unnerving." Caption: A U.S. Marine from the First Battallion Eighth Marines Alpha Company aims his weapon during a night patrol in the town of Nabuk in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, October 31, 2010
AFGHANISTAN
RTXUC5T
November 07, 2010
"We aren't allowed to publish pictures that identify detainees, but there are ways to still photograph...
TALIBJAN, Afghanistan
An Afghan man is detained by U.S. Marines from the First Battalion, Eighth Marines Bravo Company at their...
"We aren't allowed to publish pictures that identify detainees, but there are ways to still photograph them discreetly." Caption: An Afghan man is detained by U.S. Marines from the First Battalion, Eighth Marines Bravo Company at their base in Talibjan after a battle against Taliban insurgents in Musa Qala district in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province November 7, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTXTZ4Y
October 29, 2010
"Sgt. Thomas James Brennan was reprimanded by his officers when they saw this photo. They said he had...
KUNJAK, Afghanistan
Sgt. Thomas James Brennan of Randolph, MA., from the First Battallion Eighth Marines Alpha Company, smokes...
"Sgt. Thomas James Brennan was reprimanded by his officers when they saw this photo. They said he had left his weapon in the rain, which was not the case. I think they may have been embarrassed that they had failed to provide any shelter for their Marines. A few days later, I got a request from a Marine newsletter in the U.S. asking to use the image for recruiting purposes because it looked 'Hardcore.' It was a Joseph Heller kind of situation." Caption: Sgt. Thomas James Brennan smokes a cigarette in his bunk surrounded by photographs of his wife Melinda and their daughter Madison, 2, after a night of rain at the remote outpost of Kunjak in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, October 29, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN
RTXU3BG
November 01, 2010
"A few days after I photographed him in his bunk, Sgt. Brennan suffered a concussion after an RPG exploded...
NABUK, Afghanistan
SSgt. Gonzalez checks on LCpl. Chun during battle against Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan's...
"A few days after I photographed him in his bunk, Sgt. Brennan suffered a concussion after an RPG exploded close to him during a firefight against the Taliban." Caption: SSgt. Ysidro Gonzalez (R) calls for a medic after Sgt. Thomas James Brennan suffered a concussion caused by a rocket propelled grenade explosion near his position during a battle against Taliban insurgents in the town of Nabuk in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, November 1, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTXU3BI
November 01, 2010
"Brennan had been running to help two fellow Marines who had been stunned by another RPG explosion when...
NABUK, Afghanistan
Concussed Marine rests during battle against Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province...
"Brennan had been running to help two fellow Marines who had been stunned by another RPG explosion when he too was hit. He staggered back into a compound where he collapsed. He was medevaced out and had two weeks rest before rejoining his squad." Caption: A concussed Sgt. Thomas James Brennan rests in a compound offering cover after a rocket propelled grenade exploded near his position during a battle against Taliban insurgents in the town of Nabuk in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, November 1, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN
RTR2ITK6
February 19, 2011
"When I returned in early 2011, Sgt. Brennan (seated R) was back leading his squad and the area that...
KUNJAK, Afghanistan
U.S. Marines speak with villagers in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province
"When I returned in early 2011, Sgt. Brennan (seated R) was back leading his squad and the area that had been so hostile a few months before was much calmer, perhaps because of the Afghan winter, but it suggested there had been some inroads, however temporary." Caption: U.S. Marines from the First Batallion Eighth Marines Alpha Company stop during a patrol to speak with villagers at Kunjak in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, February 19, 2011.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTXTXFZ
October 27, 2010
"I got an email the day after this photo was published saying Sir Elton John had seen it in an English...
KUNJAK, Afghanistan
PFC. Voris stands during a sandstorm in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province
"I got an email the day after this photo was published saying Sir Elton John had seen it in an English newspaper and wanted a print for his collection. The Marine in the photo was told by his comrades that Sir Elton had paid $500,000 for his picture. This of course was not true, but the Marine asked me whether I could get him a copy of the picture signed by Sir Elton. I passed along the request and, sure enough, Sir Elton obliged and sent the signed print to Private Voris. It was a nice circle of events." Caption: Private First Class Brandon Voris, 19, stands in the middle of his camp as a sandstorm hits his remote outpost near Kunjak in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, October 28, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN
RTR2SCIH
February 26, 2011
"I just found this picture in my archives. It has not been published before. It shows Private Serge Huber...
Helmand, Afghanistan
Private Serge Huber smokes after coming off sentry duty at Kunjak in Helmand province
"I just found this picture in my archives. It has not been published before. It shows Private Serge Huber having a smoke after coming off sentry duty at Kunjak in Helmand province, February 26, 2011. Huber is young -- I think 19 or 20 -- but there's a weariness that comes from time spent living hard under trying conditions. His camp is where I spent most of my time in Helmand and it was a small place about the size of two tennis courts. There were no luxuries, not even water to wash. Most Marines there did their whole six month tour without a shower, though they had to shave daily with bottled water."
AFGHANISTAN-DOORS
RTR2JMK6
March 08, 2011
"At one point I did a series on Afghan doorways. They symbolized the closed nature of Afghan society,...
KUNJAK, Afghanistan
A door to a compound in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province
"At one point I did a series on Afghan doorways. They symbolized the closed nature of Afghan society, as well as the fact that U.S. Marines are tolerated "but not entirely welcomed" by the local population. I suppose, in some way, they also reflect my own frustration about not having access to the people of Afghanistan while on military embeds. Photographing doors allowed me to imagine the hidden world behind them." Caption: A door made from cloth hangs at the entrance to a mud compound at the village of Kunkak in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, February 23, 2011.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1RN2A
July 09, 2007
"The only access to the local Afghan population while on embeds is fleeting, as you pass by on foot patrols....
HAJANO KALI, Afghanistan
Afghan youths working as labourers at a mosque pose for a portrait during a break at the village of Hajano...
"The only access to the local Afghan population while on embeds is fleeting, as you pass by on foot patrols. Occasionally you might get lucky and stumble on a scene that allows a brief glimpse into their lives." Caption: Afghan youths working as laborers at a mosque pose for a portrait during a break at the village of Hajano Kali in Arghandab district, southern Afghanistan July 9, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTR1UZC5
October 15, 2007
"This image for me captures something in the expression of the young girl and the fact that her life...
PANJWAII, Afghanistan
An Afghan girl watches through a bus window as Canadian and Afghan troops patrol Panjwaii town in southern...
"This image for me captures something in the expression of the young girl and the fact that her life will be determined by men, such as the one in the background. There's something disturbing about it." Caption: An Afghan girl watches through a bus window as Afghan National Army troops and Canadian soldiers from the NATO-led coalition conduct a foot patrol through the main market in the Taliban stronghold of Panjwaii town, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 16, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN
RTXTSRL
October 23, 2010
"These kids would come and collect cardboard and wood thrown away as garbage by the Marines, but very...
KUNJAK, Afghanistan
Afghan children stand together near the town of Kunjak in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province
"These kids would come and collect cardboard and wood thrown away as garbage by the Marines, but very useful for cooking fires in rural Afghanistan." Caption: Afghan children stand together near the town of Kunjak in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province October 24, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN
RTXUGA2
November 10, 2010
"The scene depicted in this photo could reflect a day, a month, a year or even a decade in Afghanistan's...
MUSA QALA, Afghanistan
Graffiti left behind by Taliban fighters remains on the walls of a compound in southern Afghanistan's...
"The scene depicted in this photo could reflect a day, a month, a year or even a decade in Afghanistan's history. I found it fascinating that the Taliban graffiti was on the walls of a base now used by U.S. Marines. What better historical document can you have than this? Sadly, after U.S. commanders saw these pictures they ordered the graffiti to be painted over." Caption: Graffiti left behind by Taliban fighters remains on the walls of a compound now used as a command center for the U.S Marine Corps's First Battalion, Eighth Marines at Musa Qala in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, November 10, 2010.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTX8Y2
November 12, 2007
"When Western forces leave, it will be up to the Afghans themselves to secure the country, but it's...
PANJWAII, Afghanistan
An Afghan National Army soldier has a rose attached to his weapon in southern Afghanistan
"When Western forces leave, it will be up to the Afghans themselves to secure the country, but it's far from certain that the troops and police are up to the task." Caption: An Afghan National Army soldier (C), with a freshly picked rose attached to his weapon, returns from a mission to hunt for weapons caches in the Taliban stronghold of Panjwaii town, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, November 12, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTXP5R
November 15, 2007
"Some Afghan police and troops are excellent while others lack training and discipline. It's hard to...
KOLK, Afghanistan
An Afghan National Policeman returns to his base after a patrol came under fire in the Taliban stronghold...
"Some Afghan police and troops are excellent while others lack training and discipline. It's hard to imagine they will be ready to secure the country by 2014." Caption: An Afghan National Policeman returns to his base after a patrol came under fire in the Taliban stronghold of Kolk in Zhari district, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, November 15, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN
RTR1UX12
October 14, 2007
"It's hard not to fall in love with the rugged beauty of Afghanistan." Caption: Bandoliers of bullets...
PANJWAII, Afghanistan
Bandoliers of bullets hang from a lookout tower at Three Tank Hill base overlooking Panjwaii town in...
"It's hard not to fall in love with the rugged beauty of Afghanistan." Caption: Bandoliers of bullets hang from a lookout tower at Three Tank Hill base overlooking Panjwaii town in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, October 14, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN/
RTXO5T
November 15, 2007
"Ultimately, Afghanistan's future lies in the hands of Afghans. I'm not sure if or when I'll go back,...
KOLK, Afghanistan
Afghan National Army soldiers head out on patrol in the Taliban stronghold of Kolk in Zahri district
"Ultimately, Afghanistan's future lies in the hands of Afghans. I'm not sure if or when I'll go back, but after decades of conflict, I doubt the country has seen the last of war." Caption: Afghan National Army soldiers head out on patrol in the Taliban stronghold of Kolk in Zahri district, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, November 15, 2007.
AFGHANISTAN
RTR2SCII
February 22, 2011
Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, February 22, 2011.
Helmand, Afghanistan
Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan
Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, February 22, 2011.
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