Training Afghanistan’s women soldiers

Kabul’s military training academy is churning out classes of enthusiastic women to serve in Afghanistan’s army, but the realities of rising violence and a conservative society make the future for the young recruits far from certain. In the latest class, some of the nearly 150 women training to be officers say they feel proud to be part of the effort to secure the country, still racked by an insurgency waged by Islamist militants to topple the Western-backed government.--By Reuters
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Soldiers Karima Mohamadi, 21 (left), and Tamana, 19, from the Afghan National Army (ANA) clean their weapons at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) in Kabul, Afghanistan om Oct. 26. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Commander of female soldiers, Lieutenant Colonel Cobra Tanha, 45, stands in front of her soldiers at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Afghan soldier Tamana, 19 (left), and commander for female soldiers Lieutenant Colonel Cobra Tanha, 45, simulate an injury during a training exercise. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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A female soldier from the Afghan National Army (ANA), Fatima Zahra Akbari, 19, waits for her turn to receive a weapon before shooting exercises at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Sabera, 23, a soldier from the Afghan National Army (ANA) gestures during a shooting exercise. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Mohazama Najebi, 18, from the Afghan National Army (ANA), prays inside a mosque at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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From left: Shreen Yawari, 24, Zarmina Ahmadi, 22, Fatima Alimi, 21, and Zahra Sultani, 20, rest after shooting exercises. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) attend a lesson in a classroom at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Female soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) play volleyball at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers collect their lunch at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) take part in a training exercise at the Kabul Military Training Centre in Kabul. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Female soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) wait to get food at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Parwana Naji, 19, from the Afghan National Army (ANA) at the gym. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Aghama Dehqanyar, 19, prays inside a mosque at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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First Lieutenant in the Afghan National Army (ANA), Zainab Baqiri Shayan, 24, poses for a picture at her radio operating desk in the Ministry of Defence in Kabul. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Fatima Rezai, 21, a female officer from the Afghan National Army (ANA) practices with a punching bag during an exercise session at at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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First Lieutenant for the Afghan National Army (ANA), Zainab Baqiri Shayan, 24, speaks with her colleagues in the radio operating department at the Ministry of Defence in Kabu. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Zarmina Ahmadi, 22, looks out from a bus window at the Kabul Military Training Centre. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Model soldiers are seen in a class at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) in Kabul. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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Mohazama Najebi, 18 (right), and Sahar Ibrahimi, 25, from the Afghan National Army (ANA) pose for a picture after shooting exercises at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) in Kabul. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)
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