Afghanistan: April 2011

Nearly ten years ago, when Bin Laden and his supporters launched the attacks of September 11th, the U.S. and Britain responded with Operation Enduring Freedom in October, 2001 -- a campaign which continues to this day with nearly 140,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan. It remains to be seen if the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden will have any immediate effect on the situation in Afghanistan, but security has been tightened at coalition bases throughout the region. The Taliban has promised a new Spring offensive soon, as the weather warms and Afghanistan's "fighting season" gets underway. Insurgent attacks across the country, large and small, continue at the rate of about 30 per day, an increase from last year. NATO leaders have endorsed a target withdrawal date of 2014, with a handover to Afghan forces beginning next year. Gathered here are images from the ongoing conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. [39 photos total]

Pixtale is updated with new interesting photo stories nearly every day, checkout the our Archives.

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to updates with RSS

Use key shortcuts: Use J/K keys or / to navigate

A young Afghan boy smells a flower as he watches a Cultural Support Team conduct an engagement with shop owners in the Oshay Bazaar, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, on April 26, 2011. The team supports Army Special Operations combat forces, conducting operations to develop relations with the local populace. (Staff Sgt. Kaily Brown/U.S. Dept. of Defense) #
The landscape of Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan, seen on Monday, April 25, 2011. (S.K. Vemmer/Department of State) #
An Afghan policeman leads a fireman away from the scene of a burning NATO fuel tanker on Jalalabad-Kabul highway, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. A bomb that had been placed underneath a tanker carrying fuel for the NATO forces exploded, causing no deaths or injuries, police officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
Afghan policemen tackle a bull that went out of control on April 30, 2011, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The uncontrollable bull injured five Afghans and charged at a cart loaded with sandals for sale in the center of Kabul before police shot the bull dead. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #
Corporal Mark Hickok, a 23-year-old combat engineer from North Olmstead, Ohio, patrols a field during a clearing mission on April 9, 2011, in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Cpl. John M. McCall/U.S. Marine Corps) #
A dove sits on the wreckage of a burned-out vehicle at the UN headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif on April 2, 2011, after protesters attacked the compound on April 1. A mob enraged by a Koran burning in the US killed seven staff, the worst attack on the UN in the country since the 2001 invasion. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan families arrive at the Kart-e Sakhy cemetery to attend funeral ceremonies in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) #
Coalition personnel depart a shura in Southern Marjah District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, via an MV-22 Osprey, concluding Operation Watchtower, March 25. (Sgt. Jesse Stence/USMC/Regimental Combat Team 1) #
An Afghan protester holds a banner during a peaceful protest in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Clerics at a peaceful protest of about 300 people in Kabul said a U.S. pastor who burned a Quran should be prosecuted and Americans should withdraw from Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Ahmad Nazar) #
Recaptured Afghan prisoners walk in leg chains in jail in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Earlier, a massive security breach allowed the Taliban to spirit more than 480 Afghan inmates out southern Afghanistan's largest prison. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) #
An Afghan policeman takes a look at the opening of a tunnel at the main prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan, through which prisoners escaped on Monday, April 25, 2011. Taliban insurgents dug a more than 1,050-foot tunnel underground and into the main jail in Kandahar city and whisked out more than 450 prisoners, most of whom were Taliban fighters, officials and the insurgents said Monday. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) #
An Afghan man pushes his cart, carrying dried tomatoes to sell in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, April 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #

This image may contain graphic or
objectionable content

Click to view image
Bodies of alleged Taliban militants lie at a hospital in Jalalabad in Nangarhar Province on April 6, 2011. Seven insurgents were killed overnight after launching a rocket attack on a military airport in the eastern city of Jalalabad, where the local provincial governor was present. (Khalid Alokozay/AFP/Getty Images) #
A B-1B Lancer, from the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, returns to mission after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker, assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, while flying over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, March 29. (Master Sgt. William Greer/USAF) #
A Marine carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Marine Cpl. Adam D. Jones of Germantown, Ohio, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware on Friday April 29, 2011. Jones was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) #
Students from nearby St. Bavo Elementary School line the street outside Hahn Funeral home to show their respect for sailor Benjamin Rast in Mishawaka, Indiana on April 13, 2011. The military says Rast, a 23-year-old Navy medic of Niles, Michigan, died April 6 while on patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin) (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin) #
Nikolous Poulin, 5, center, sits in the lap of his aunt Jennifer Poulin, both of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, while holding an American flag presented to him at the funeral of his father, National Guard Spc. Dennis Poulin, at Saint Ann's Cemetery, in Cranston, Rhode Island, on Thursday, April 14, 2011. Poulin died March 31, 2011 in Germany of injuries he received when his armored vehicle rolled over in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) #
A C-130 Hercules airdrops supplies into Forward Operating Base Todd, Bala Murghab district, Badghis Province, Afghanistan, on April 14, 2011. (Staff Sgt. Michael Zimmerman/USAF) #
Captain Elizabeth Jackson from US 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regimental Combat Team 8 rides on a teeter-totter with an Afghan boy in a playground near the town of Musa Qala in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on April 12, 2011. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan girl practices martial arts with a sword at a Wosho training club in Injil, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. (AP Photo) #
Caves of Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan, seen on Monday, April 25, 2011. (S.K. Vemmer/Department of State) #
U.S. Army medic SSG Quincy Northern from "Dustoff" team, C Company, 1-214 Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade walks toward his medevac helicopter as it casts a shadow on a hospital wall at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on April 5, 2011. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov) #
U.S. Army SPC Jeremy Stocks from "Dustoff" team, C Company, 1-214 Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade restores a flagpole back in place after it fell during a night sandstorm at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on April 10, 2011. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov) #
An Afghan police official walks to investigate the scene of a suicide car bomb explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, April 14, 2011. The suicide car bomber detonated a truck of explosives covered in wood at a government compound in Musayi district, about 40 miles south of the Afghan capital, according Daud Amin, deputy police chief in Kabul. Six members of the Afghan national security forces were injured, he said. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
US Marines from Apache Company of the Company A and Route Clearance Platoon 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division detonate an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near Patrol Base Torbert in Banadar Corridor, Garmsher District, Helmand Province, on April 19, 2011. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Marine with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment sets off in Southern Marjah District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on March 24, the second day of Operation Watchtower. (Sgt. Jesse Stence/USMC/Regimental Combat Team 1) #
A Afghan nursing student from the military institute during a class, led by American teachers at the Davoud Khan military hospital on April 23, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. American medics have traveled to Afghanistan to help train 600 nursing students over a period of two years at a medical training center in Davoud Khan military hospital. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #
An Afghan horseman holds a goat during a game of buzkashi, Afghanistan's national sport, in the private grounds of First Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, April 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) #
An Afghan elder attends a "shura" (consultation) with US soldiers from 3rd Battalion 2nd Marine Regimental Combat Team 8 at Outpost Himil near the town of Musa Qala in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan on April 12, 2011. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images) #
A new mosque sits next to a U.S.-Afghan military post in the village of Tarok Kalache in the Arghandab Valley, north of Kandahar April 11, 2011. The village was destroyed by U.S. war planes on October 6, 2010 after U.S. Army commanders determined it was being used as a base of operations by Taliban fighters. The U.S. government is now paying for the rebuilding of this village and two others that were also hit by U.S. air strikes. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
Defense Secretary Robert Gates comforts Jacqueline R. Gire, the widow of Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Gire, during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday, April 15, 2011. Left of Jacqueline are her children Nicholas J. Gire and Riley J. Guire. Joshua S. Gire, 28 of Chillicothe, Ohio, died on March 22, 2011, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #
Afghan National Army soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps stand on top of a blast wall trying to get mobile phone coverage at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Delaram in southern Farah Province on April 6, 2011. Taliban militants regularly demand that mobile phone companies switch off their networks fearing that NATO-led forces can track them through phone signals. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Sutton with Task Force Thunder Brigade, Charlie Company 1st of the 52nd Aviation Regiment from Fairbanks, Alaska, plays his guitar inside a Blackhawk UH-60A helicopter during some quiet time on April 24, 2011, at Camp Passab, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It is feared that as weather improves with the approaching summer that the casualty toll will rise. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

This image may contain graphic or
objectionable content

Click to view image
The dismembered leg of a suicide bomber lies near an Afghan investigator as he inspects the site of a suicide attack in Kabul April 9, 2011. The bomber attacked an Afghan army bus on the outskirts of Kabul on Saturday, wounding up to 10 soldiers and civilians, less than a week after a suicide attack on a foreign military base in the city, a police spokesman said. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
A U.S. soldier controls the area outside the gate of a U.S. base after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, April 2, 2011. Three insurgents attacked a NATO base on the outskirts of Afghanistan's capital Saturday but were killed by coalition forces before they could enter the compound, NATO and Afghan police said. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
An effigy of the American pastor, Terry Jones, is seen burning during a demonstration in Shinwar, Nangarhar Province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, April. 4, 2011. Protests erupted in Afghanistan again Monday against a Florida pastor's burning of the Quran, making four straight days of demonstrations some deadly against the destruction of Islam's holy book in a country struggling to beat back an insurgency led by Taliban religious extremists. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier walks away from the site of a burning tanker which was transporting fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan on Jalalabad-Kabul highway April 27, 2011. (Reuters/Parwiz) #
An injured Afghan National Army soldier at the Davoud Khan military hospital on April 23, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #
A U.S. Army soldier From the 2/327th No Slack Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, relieved after a firefight with the Taliban, opens his mouth up towards the sky to taste the snow as it falls in the valley of Barawala Kalet, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on March 29, 2011. (Pfc. Cameron Boyd/U.S. Army) #

Most Popular Stories on Pixtale