This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in the Middle East, Afghanistan & Pakistan Region between Aug. 12-18, 2021.

This week’s selection includes scenes from across the region, where the Taliban’s swift advance on Afghanistan followed the American retreat from the country two decades after their invasion.

Wildfires outside of Jerusalem darkened the skies, destroying forest, damaging homes and displacing residents. Shiites marked Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, which is a month of mourning for Shiites in remembrance of the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the 7th century.

The gallery was curated by Dusan Vranic, AP Deputy News Director for Photography & Storytelling for the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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