Afghanistan profile: In pictures

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image captionAfghanistan is home to many different ethnic groups
image captionThe Hindu-Kush mountain chain at sunrise, seen from Bagram, near the capital of Kabul
image captionDay labourers have their breakfast at a Kabul market
image captionCustomers buy grapes from a Kabul street vendor
image captionBand-E-Amir in Bamiyan, central Afghanistan, was declared the country's first national park in April 2009. A series of six linked lakes are hidden in the Koh-e-Baba range. Band-E-Amir has been an Afghan tourist destination since the early 1950s
image captionAfghans relax on a hillside in Kandahar
image captionMen from the minority Shia Muslim community mark the Day of Ashura by striking themselves with knives. The day is a national holiday in Afghanistan
image captionBuzkashi - 'goat grabbing' - is an Afghan national sport. Two teams of horsemen compete to throw a goat carcass into a scoring circle
image captionA farmer harvests wheat in the province of Bamiyan, which lies in a lush valley stretching for 100 kilometres on the former Silk Road linking China to Central Asia
image captionThe giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, which stood for over 1500 years, were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001 in an 'Islamic' mission to destroy ancient statues. They were reduced to rubble over a period of about 3 weeks using dynamite, rockets and tank shell
image captionAfghanistan is littered with debris of war, including many Soviet vehicles left in the country following the 1989 withdrawal after nearly a decade of occupation
image captionBoys fly kites at sunset on a Kabul rooftop.