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2012: The Year In Photos

From civil war and natural disasters to punk protests, space jumps, and Olympic triumphs, these photographs tell the stories that defined 2012. (113 PHOTOS)

The newly built Ada Bridge over the Sava River is illuminated in Belgrade, Serbia, early on January 1. (AFP/Andrej Isakovic)
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The newly built Ada Bridge over the Sava River is illuminated in Belgrade, Serbia, early on January 1. (AFP/Andrej Isakovic)

An Afghan artist and his students display an oversized page from the Koran at the opening ceremony of the Naser Khusro Balkhi Library in Kabul on January 12. (AFP/Shan Marai)
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An Afghan artist and his students display an oversized page from the Koran at the opening ceremony of the Naser Khusro Balkhi Library in Kabul on January 12. (AFP/Shan Marai)

A soldier of Russia's presidential regiment guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just outside the Kremlin walls in Moscow on January 12. (AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev)
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A soldier of Russia's presidential regiment guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just outside the Kremlin walls in Moscow on January 12. (AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Mourners carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan during his funeral in Tehran on January 13. Roshan was killed the previous day when two men on a motorbike slapped a magnetic bomb on his car while it was stuck in Tehran traffic. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
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Mourners carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan during his funeral in Tehran on January 13. Roshan was killed the previous day when two men on a motorbike slapped a magnetic bomb on his car while it was stuck in Tehran traffic. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

The partially submerged "Costa Concordia" cruise ship lies in the harbor of the Isola del Giglio in Italy on January 16 after it ran aground and keeled over on January 13. (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)
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The partially submerged "Costa Concordia" cruise ship lies in the harbor of the Isola del Giglio in Italy on January 16 after it ran aground and keeled over on January 13. (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)

Kazakh opposition leaders burn an election poster of the ruling Nur-Otan party, a winner of the recent parliamentary elections, in Almaty on January 17. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)
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Kazakh opposition leaders burn an election poster of the ruling Nur-Otan party, a winner of the recent parliamentary elections, in Almaty on January 17. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)

Believers plunge into the ice-cold water of a lake in Minsk on January 18 to celebrate the Orthodox holiday of Epiphany. (AFP/Victor Drachev)
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Believers plunge into the ice-cold water of a lake in Minsk on January 18 to celebrate the Orthodox holiday of Epiphany. (AFP/Victor Drachev)

Members of the Russian radical feminist group Pussy Riot sing a song at Lobnoye Mesto, the site where Russian tsars once issued their decrees, on Red Square in Moscow on January 20. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)
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Members of the Russian radical feminist group Pussy Riot sing a song at Lobnoye Mesto, the site where Russian tsars once issued their decrees, on Red Square in Moscow on January 20. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters celebrate outside Egypt's parliament in Cairo on January 23. Lawmakers were holding their first session since an election put Islamists in charge of the assembly following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)
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Muslim Brotherhood supporters celebrate outside Egypt's parliament in Cairo on January 23. Lawmakers were holding their first session since an election put Islamists in charge of the assembly following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)

A Syrian boy stands in front of a damaged armored vehicle belonging to the Syrian army in a street in Homs on January 23. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)
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A Syrian boy stands in front of a damaged armored vehicle belonging to the Syrian army in a street in Homs on January 23. (Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)

A detained illegal migrant from Uzbekistan stands behind the bars of his jail cell at the Kazan railway station in Moscow on January 24. Police detained about 30 illegal migrants during a routine check at the station. In an article published earlier on his campaign website, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to toughen up immigration legislation. (AFP/Andrey Smirnov)
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A detained illegal migrant from Uzbekistan stands behind the bars of his jail cell at the Kazan railway station in Moscow on January 24. Police detained about 30 illegal migrants during a routine check at the station. In an article published earlier on his campaign website, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to toughen up immigration legislation. (AFP/Andrey Smirnov)

The aurora borealis lights up the sky near the city of Tromsoe in northern Norway on January 25. Reuters/Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/Scanpix
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The aurora borealis lights up the sky near the city of Tromsoe in northern Norway on January 25. Reuters/Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/Scanpix

A villager transports wood in the village of Jezerc, west of Kosovo's capital Pristina, on January 31, as temperatures in Kosovo reached minus 18 degrees Celsius (minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Reuters/Hazir Reka
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A villager transports wood in the village of Jezerc, west of Kosovo's capital Pristina, on January 31, as temperatures in Kosovo reached minus 18 degrees Celsius (minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Reuters/Hazir Reka

Iraqi supporters of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City in northern Baghdad wave the national flag during a celebration marking the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq on February 9. (AFP/Ali Al-Saadi)
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Iraqi supporters of Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City in northern Baghdad wave the national flag during a celebration marking the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq on February 9. (AFP/Ali Al-Saadi)

A traffic light displays the image of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 10. Images of Putin were stuck onto traffic lights in different parts of the city ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for March 4. The sign reads: "Stop." (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)
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A traffic light displays the image of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 10. Images of Putin were stuck onto traffic lights in different parts of the city ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for March 4. The sign reads: "Stop." (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

Russian billionaire and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov (right) watches a performance staged by students from the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow on February 14. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)
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Russian billionaire and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov (right) watches a performance staged by students from the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow on February 14. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)

Veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan stand with their backs turned to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as he attends a flower-laying ceremony in Kyiv on February 15. The veterans publicly snubbed Yanukovych during the ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
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Veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan stand with their backs turned to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as he attends a flower-laying ceremony in Kyiv on February 15. The veterans publicly snubbed Yanukovych during the ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (center) is inaugurated for a second term in the capital Ashgabat on February 17. Berdymukhammedov won more than 97 percent of the vote held on February 12.(AFP/Igor Sasin)
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Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (center) is inaugurated for a second term in the capital Ashgabat on February 17. Berdymukhammedov won more than 97 percent of the vote held on February 12.(AFP/Igor Sasin)

Afghan men shout anti-U.S slogans during a demonstration in Jalalabad Province on February 22. Gunfire wounded at least 26 people during protests in several cities across the country over the burning of copies of the Koran at NATO's main base in Afghanistan. (Reuters/Parwiz)
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Afghan men shout anti-U.S slogans during a demonstration in Jalalabad Province on February 22. Gunfire wounded at least 26 people during protests in several cities across the country over the burning of copies of the Koran at NATO's main base in Afghanistan. (Reuters/Parwiz)

Opposition supporters take part in a protest rally called The White Ring by forming a human chain along the Garden Ring Road in Moscow on February 26. Thousands of Russians joined the protest against Vladimir Putin's expected return to the presidency in the upcoming election. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)
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Opposition supporters take part in a protest rally called The White Ring by forming a human chain along the Garden Ring Road in Moscow on February 26. Thousands of Russians joined the protest against Vladimir Putin's expected return to the presidency in the upcoming election. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)

A woman waits beside the ballot box as election officials register her to vote in Iran's parliamentary elections in Tehran on March 2. (Reuters)
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A woman waits beside the ballot box as election officials register her to vote in Iran's parliamentary elections in Tehran on March 2. (Reuters)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addresses his supporters with tears in his eyes on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on March 4. Putin won a resounding victory in Russia's presidential election, securing a new six-year term in the Kremlin and a mandate to deal with opposition protests after a vote that opponents said was marred by fraud. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addresses his supporters with tears in his eyes on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on March 4. Putin won a resounding victory in Russia's presidential election, securing a new six-year term in the Kremlin and a mandate to deal with opposition protests after a vote that opponents said was marred by fraud. (Reuters/Denis Sinyakov)

Police officers detain opposition activists who refused to leave Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square after a large rally on March 5 opposing Vladimir Putin's victory in the presidential election. (Ria Novosti)
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Police officers detain opposition activists who refused to leave Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square after a large rally on March 5 opposing Vladimir Putin's victory in the presidential election. (Ria Novosti)

The bodies of an elderly Afghan man and a child are pictured in the village of Alkozai in Kandahar Province on March 11. An AFP reporter counted 16 bodies -- including women and children -- in three Afghan houses after a U.S. soldier walked off his base and began shooting civilians. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it had arrested a soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar province," without giving a figure for the dead or wounded. (AFP/ Mamoon Durrani)
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The bodies of an elderly Afghan man and a child are pictured in the village of Alkozai in Kandahar Province on March 11. An AFP reporter counted 16 bodies -- including women and children -- in three Afghan houses after a U.S. soldier walked off his base and began shooting civilians. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it had arrested a soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar province," without giving a figure for the dead or wounded. (AFP/ Mamoon Durrani)

An honor guard's face is covered by Turkmenistan's national flag during an official ceremony welcoming Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 13. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
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An honor guard's face is covered by Turkmenistan's national flag during an official ceremony welcoming Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 13. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

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