Photographer Louie Palu began visiting Kandahar, a southern province that is one of Afghanistan's largest, in 2006, as the insurgency returned with new violence and urgency, permanently changing the tenor of the war. Originally overlooked by most Western media outlets, the region eventually became the focal point of the fight against the Taliban. Rather than focus on specific battles, Palu's portraits look at the region over the course of years, charting the evolution of one of the region's most beautiful -- and violent -- areas. Here, we look at images taken from 2006-2010.
Above, an Afghan soldier eats grapes during a patrol in Pashmul in Zharay District, Kandahar province. Kandahar is well known throughout many parts of Asia and the Middle East for its raisins. The grapes are grown in trenches that make fighting difficult.