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Photos Of The Week #12

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our <strong><a href="http://www.rferl.org/archive/rferl-photo-blog/latest/16235/16235.html" target="_blank">"Picture This"</a></strong> archive.

Afghans gather near a shrine to celebrate the Afghan New Year (Norouz) in Kabul on March 21. (epa/Sabawoon)
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Afghans gather near a shrine to celebrate the Afghan New Year (Norouz) in Kabul on March 21. (epa/Sabawoon)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is silhouetted against the sky as she arrives for a session of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin on March 20. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is silhouetted against the sky as she arrives for a session of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin on March 20. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

Ukrainian servicemen watch a TV broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin signing a law that ratifies a treaty making Crimea part of Russia, at a Ukrainian military base in the Crimean town of Belbek on March 21. (Reuters//Vasily Fedosenko)&nbsp;
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Ukrainian servicemen watch a TV broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin signing a law that ratifies a treaty making Crimea part of Russia, at a Ukrainian military base in the Crimean town of Belbek on March 21. (Reuters//Vasily Fedosenko) 

Azerbaijani enthusiasts of Varzesh-e Pahlavani, an ancient Iranian martial art, perform during celebrations of the Persian New Year, known as Noruoz, in Baku on March 19. (AFP/Tofiq Babayev)
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Azerbaijani enthusiasts of Varzesh-e Pahlavani, an ancient Iranian martial art, perform during celebrations of the Persian New Year, known as Noruoz, in Baku on March 19. (AFP/Tofiq Babayev)

Israeli street performers run along next to a marathon contestant as they pass the Old City walls and the Tower of David complex during the fourth annual Jerusalem Marathon. (AFP/Jim Hollander)
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Israeli street performers run along next to a marathon contestant as they pass the Old City walls and the Tower of David complex during the fourth annual Jerusalem Marathon. (AFP/Jim Hollander)

A woman dressed in national costume offers traditional local dishes during Norouz celebrations in Bishkek. (epa/Igor Kovalenko)
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A woman dressed in national costume offers traditional local dishes during Norouz celebrations in Bishkek. (epa/Igor Kovalenko)

An elderly man sells plastic bags at the central market in Chisinau, Moldova. (AFP/Daniel/Mihailescu)
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An elderly man sells plastic bags at the central market in Chisinau, Moldova. (AFP/Daniel/Mihailescu)

Kyrgyz horsemen participate in the traditional Central Asian sport of Kok-Boru (goat dragging), a competition held as part of the Norouz celebrations at Bishkek&#39;s hyppodrome Ak-Kula on March 20. (RIA Novosti/ Vladimir Pirogov)
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Kyrgyz horsemen participate in the traditional Central Asian sport of Kok-Boru (goat dragging), a competition held as part of the Norouz celebrations at Bishkek's hyppodrome Ak-Kula on March 20. (RIA Novosti/ Vladimir Pirogov)

Iraqi Kurdish people carry torches up a mountain where a giant flag of Iraq&#39;s autonomous Kurdistan region is laid, as they celebrate Norouz Day, a festival marking their spring and new year, near Dahuk, on March 20. (Reuters/Azad Lashkari)
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Iraqi Kurdish people carry torches up a mountain where a giant flag of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region is laid, as they celebrate Norouz Day, a festival marking their spring and new year, near Dahuk, on March 20. (Reuters/Azad Lashkari)

Afghan zookeeper Qurban Ali (right) attempts to intervene as Marjan, a lion (center), plays at his cage in Kabul&#39;s zoo. (AFP/Shah Marai)
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Afghan zookeeper Qurban Ali (right) attempts to intervene as Marjan, a lion (center), plays at his cage in Kabul's zoo. (AFP/Shah Marai)

Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign rally in Konduz Province. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)
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Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign rally in Konduz Province. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)

Two women, believed to be Ukrainian servicewomen, carry their uniforms as they walk past an armed man, believed to be a Russian serviceman, while leaving a military base in Perevalnoye, near Simferopol in Crimea on March 19. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)
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Two women, believed to be Ukrainian servicewomen, carry their uniforms as they walk past an armed man, believed to be a Russian serviceman, while leaving a military base in Perevalnoye, near Simferopol in Crimea on March 19. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)

A Ukrainian MI-8 military helicopter is seen near the village of Salkovo in the Kherson region adjacent to Crimea on March 18. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)
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A Ukrainian MI-8 military helicopter is seen near the village of Salkovo in the Kherson region adjacent to Crimea on March 18. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Kyrgyz horsemen participate in the traditional Central Asian sport of Kok-Boru (goat dragging) in Bishkek. (epa/Igor Kovalenko)
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Kyrgyz horsemen participate in the traditional Central Asian sport of Kok-Boru (goat dragging) in Bishkek. (epa/Igor Kovalenko)

A man drapes the Russian flag on his shoulders as he stands on the coast of the Bay of Sevastopol, Crimea. (epa/Zurab Kursikidze)
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A man drapes the Russian flag on his shoulders as he stands on the coast of the Bay of Sevastopol, Crimea. (epa/Zurab Kursikidze)

A woman holds a portrait of Russia&#39;s President Vladimir Putin as others wave Russian flags as the preliminary results of referendum on Crimea joining Russia are announced on March 16. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)
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A woman holds a portrait of Russia's President Vladimir Putin as others wave Russian flags as the preliminary results of referendum on Crimea joining Russia are announced on March 16. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

An Iraqi Kurd woman visits a graveyard for the victims of a gas attack by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1988, as people mark the 26th anniversary of the attack in the Kurdish town of Halabja on March 16. (AFP/Safin Hamed)
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An Iraqi Kurd woman visits a graveyard for the victims of a gas attack by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1988, as people mark the 26th anniversary of the attack in the Kurdish town of Halabja on March 16. (AFP/Safin Hamed)

Members of a &quot;Maidan&quot; self-defense battalion take part in training at a Ukrainian Interior Ministry base near Kyiv on March 17. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
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Members of a "Maidan" self-defense battalion take part in training at a Ukrainian Interior Ministry base near Kyiv on March 17. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

A man holds a Crimean flag outside the parliament building in central Simferopol on March 17 after the region declared independence from Ukraine following a referendum on March 16. (AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff)
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A man holds a Crimean flag outside the parliament building in central Simferopol on March 17 after the region declared independence from Ukraine following a referendum on March 16. (AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff)

Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Jurf al-Sakhar on March 17. (Reuters/Alaa al-Marjani)
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Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Jurf al-Sakhar on March 17. (Reuters/Alaa al-Marjani)

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