The best pictures of the year, agency AFP



p style=”text-align:justify;”>Chandra Bahadur Dangi, a 72-year-old Nepali, the world’s shortest man at 56 centimetres in height, walks near his home in Reemkholi village in the Dang district, some 540 kilometres southwest of Kathmandu, last February. Dangi was on his way the capital city to meet Guinness World Records experts who awarded him the world title


p style=”text-align:justify;”>A French soldier stands on a rooftop of an Afghan National Police (ANP) combat post in September, in a village on the road to Naghlu, the French army base in the war-torn country. The policemen stationed at the combat post sleep on beds outside because of the heat, which regularly exceeds 35 degrees in the summer


p style=”text-align:justify;”>Supporters of the French Socialist Party and their leader Francois Hollande celebrate his election as president of the country at the Bastille Square in Paris last May. Hollande, who dealt a humiliating defeat to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, is France’s first socialist president in nearly two decades


p style=”text-align:justify;”>A fully grown male wild leopard climbs a net after it fell into a water reservoir tank at a tea estate in Haskhowa, India in June. The animal was rescued by the Sukna Forest rescue team from the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary, who managed to get him out by lowering a ladder and a net into the tank


p style=”text-align:justify;”>Workers in costumes carry a box to transport giant pandas back to the wild at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Sichaun province last May. The bears will be left to fend for themselves to learn crucial survival skills, and scientists plan to gradually reduce human interaction until they can live without any assistance


p style=”text-align:justify;”>A lone tourist stands in Times Square in October as New Yorkers prepare for Hurricane Sandy. The eastern side of the United States was put on lockdown awaiting the arrival of the hurricane, dubbed Frankenstorm. The storm caused havoc with driving rain and devastating winds and killed more than 100 people in the US


p style=”text-align:justify;”>A Russian flag with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin image on it flies above his supporters as they celebrate Putin’s victory at the central Manezhnaya Square just outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Some 15,000 people took part in the rally in March


p style=”text-align:justify;”>Thousands of Congolese flee the town of Sake following fresh fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo town earlier this month. Fighting broke out causing people to head east, towards Goma, to the camps in the village of Mugunga


p style=”text-align:justify;”>Egyptian protesters carry an obelisk with the names of those killed during last year’s uprising at a huge rally in Tahrir Square in January. It marked the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. Debate raged over whether the rally was a celebration or a second push for change


p style=”text-align:justify;”>Young Slovaks dressed in traditional costumes throw a bucket of water at a girl as part of Easter celebrations in the village of Trencianska Tepla, north of Bratislava, in April. Slovakia’s men splash women with water and hit them with a willow to symbolise youth, strength and beauty for the upcoming spring season

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p style=”text-align:justify;”>A member of Rosas de Ouro samba school starts dancing before taking part in the opening night of parades at the Sambadrome, as part of Carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo, Brazil in February

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