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Andrew Quilty  Australian photojourno in Afghanistan. All iPhone here, unless stated otherwise.

History doesn't stand still in Kabul. The Bala Hissar, or High Fort, seen in the distance here beyond Hashmat Khan Lake, is believed to have been a fortress as far back as the fifth or sixth century and has served the purpose since. The Mughal emperor Babur developed it in conjunction with an eponymously named wall that followed the ridge line over the adjoining Sher Darwaza, or Lion's Gate, mountains. It was a significant landmark in the Anglo-Afghan wars of the 20th century and is today occupied by a division of the Afghan National Army. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. Reference: Bill Woodburn / Afghanistan Analysts Network. 25.5.2019. #kabul #afghanistan @everydayafg @everydaykabul @afghanistan_you_never_see

Erica Dunn: My ears are fucked.
Gareth Liddiard: Go join a fuckin' folk band then.
@tropical_fuck_storm post-show @cobaltstudios.ouseburn in Newcastle last night - the band's last in the U.K. before Brexiting for the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and beyond, and I head back to Kabul. Find 'em wherever you listen to music or, better still, see them live. They're pretty much touring the world for the rest of the year and have a new album on the way which Liddiard described to me as "like a pop album that's been thrown down the stairs." Photo: @andrewquilty. 18.5.2019. #newcastle #UnitedKingdom #UK @laurenhammel @garethliddiard @_modcon_

25 year-old Rachida recovers at Kunduz Regional Hospital on March 31, after she was severely wounded in a U.S. airstrike on Aqulabul, just north of Afghanistan's Kunduz City. Rachida’s husband, Abdul Wahid, and five of her six children were killed in the strike.
The day after the strike, a spokesperson for the U.S.-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, known as Resolute Support, claimed that the Taliban were hiding in civilian homes “and maneuvered in and out of compounds without any concern for the families living inside.” Rachida and several others present in the village that night dismissed this as nonsense.

The second image shows fragments of what a munitions expert told me was most likely a precision guided 250 pound NATO bomb, almost certainly dropped from an American fixed-wing aircraft.
The final image shows the ruins of Rachida's family house a week after the air strike. They had only lived there a couple of months since fleeing their home in Dasht-e Archi District, also in Kunduz, which had been under Taliban control for a year.
Civilian casualties from airstrikes in Afghanistan are as high as they have been in a decade—even in 2009, when 10 times the number of foreign soldiers were present during the U.S. surge, according to a United Nations report released in April. The U.N.’s human rights unit in Afghanistan documented the highest number of civilian casualties from aerial and search operations recorded in the first quarter of any year—that is, January through March—since they began counting in 2009.

And for the first time, during the first quarter of 2019, “Pro-Government Forces were responsible for more civilian deaths than Anti-Government Elements,” the report said. Of those, international military forces were responsible for 232 civilian casualties (146 deaths, 86 injured). In addition, the report said, almost as many innocent civilians are being killed by international forces (146) as by the Taliban (173). 31.3.2019. Photos: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. #kunduz #afghanistan @unamanews

Wining and dining in the long dusk of the Scottish Highlands with @garethliddiard and Fiona Kitschin, one half of Aussie art-punk band @tropical_fuck_storm and two fifths of The Drones, en route to tonight's gig at @thehugandpint, Glasgow. 16.5.2019. #scotland @gartmoreestate

Lauren Hammel, Adam Donovan, Erica Dunn, Fiona Kitschin and Gareth Liddiard, @Tropical_fuck_storm, over the River Liffey, Dublin, Ireland. 7:40PM, 15.5.2019. @thesoundhousedublin #dublin #ireland @garethliddiard @foxyandralf @laurenhammel

In the past month, hundreds of families have fled fighting in Chapardara District in Kunar. A handful have settled in Gurgam Village on a hillside above the provincial capital, Assadabad. What's unusual about this tangent in the conflict is that it doesn't involve either Afghan government forces, nor Americans. In this case it's the Taliban, who have controlled the district for as long as anyone can remember, fighting Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate, Islamic State Khorasan Province. The families I spoke to said that aside from when the Americans were fighting in the valleys of Kunar, they'd lived mostly peacefully under Taliban rule, until the IS fighters, from different parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya and beyond, arrived in recent months. These boys, some of whom had lived in Gurgam for years while others were new arrivals from Chapardara, used the only sliver of flat ground on the hillside to play a game of cricket which, despite the constrained surrounds, bore all the passion of a World Cup final. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. 30.4.2019. #kunar #afghanistan @everydayafg @everydayeverywhere @afghanistan_you_never_see

Afghan men are fanatical about cleaning their motor vehicles. Any road journey of more than a couple of hours will inevitably include a stop at a roadside car wash - usually hose connected to a diesel water pump sitting in stream by the road. A stream flowing across a road, like this one in Kunar, can be hard for even the most determined journeymen to resist. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. 30.4.2019. #kunar #afghanistan @afghanistan_you_never_see @everydayafg

Qala-I Zal, Kunduz, one of Afghanistan's many islands of symbolic government control, consisting of a couple of burnt-out buildings occupied by a couple of government officials and more than 100 armed forces. Qala-i Zal is made up of 107 villages. 105 of them are under the control of the Taliban. But by relocating the district administration centre to an area where they can maintain a piecemeal presence, the government, at least on paper, can claim to be in control of the district. Similar scenarios play out across the country. In many cases the district governor lives in exile in the provincial capital. The district police chief, Faiz Mohammad Qalaghani, has a tashquil, or allotment, of 56 men. In the past six months, 30 of them have been killed@or wounded in action. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. 2.4.2019. #kunduz #afghanistan

Transporting water from a well that can't be seen in the distance to a home that can't be seen ahead of them. Qala-i Zak, Kunduz. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. 2.4.2019. #kunduz #afghanistan #water @azdarya @everydayeverywhere @everydayafg

Last week, in Wardak's Sayedabad District, four fresh graves, beneath which lay the remains of at least three Taliban fighters killed in an American drone or piloted air strike. Many graves in Afghanistan bear white flags that are easily mistaken as signifying Taliban dead. Three of these four, however, included script and a bloodied sword motif which, a Wardaki travelling with me said, denoted that their death had been at the hands of infidels; ie. The Americans. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo. 16.4.2019. #wardak #afghanistan #taliban

A familiar pastime in Kabul: watching on from behind police lines as Afghan security forces fight to overcome complex attacks mounted by multiple suicide attackers against soft targets. Today, a bomb was detonated at the entrance to the Ministry of Communications before four armed men charged the multi-storey Soviet-built office block in the centre of Kabul. A Crisis Response Unit fought the attackers for five hours before all were killed. Reports suggest that between five and seven civilians were also killed, with more injured. Five members of the National Directorate of Security and two from the Police Crisis Response Unit were also reportedly killed - an unusually high number for the elite units who respond to such attacks. It is the first such attack in at least a few months - a relatively calm period by Kabul standards. Photos purporting to show one dead attacker with an Islamic State flag strewn beside him are circulating on social media, though neither they nor the Taliban have yet claimed responsibility. Photo: @andrewquilty / @vu_photo / @everydayasia. 20.4.2019 #kabul #afghanistan @everydaykabul @everydayafg

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