The war in Afghanistan came to a formal end on Dec. 28, 2014, with a flag-lowering ceremony in Kabul. The symbolic act, which was held under heavy security measures due to threats of an attack, marked the conclusion of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom and the start of Operation Resolute Support.
Exposure to Western culture since 2001 has transformed Afghanistan's previously isolated society, and a love of tattoos has taken hold - despite inking parlours being illegal.
Under the Taliban's tough 1996-2001 regime, personal fashion statements were outlawed and police squads patrolled the streets looking for men who had beards that were too short or hair that was too long.
A suicide bomber on Nov. 16 attacked a vehicle convoy carrying Afghan lawmakers including a prominent female MP, killing three civilians and injuring 22 others, officials said.
The blast, in which the attacker detonated an explosives-packed car, left the MPs' vehicles badly damaged on a main road in the west of Kabul, close to the parliament.
A bomb hit a military vehicle in the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital, wounding one person a day before the inauguration of a new president expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries