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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Nearly nine years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and with the U.S. military officially ending its war in Iraq, we take a look back at how Reuters photographers covered the conflict and captured defining images of the war that killed some 4,500 American troops and at least 60,000 Iraqis.

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Behrouz Mehri / AFP - Getty Images

Seen through a haze of fine dust kicked up by the helicopter's rotor blades, US Marines carry a wounded comrade who was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device to a medevac helicopter of U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-171 Aviation Regiment in Helmand province on Nov. 2, 2011. The Marine lost his right leg from the knee in the blast.

Natalia Jimenez writes

A subtle image, but the combination of the soft hazy dust and a lonely exposed sock of a wounded soldier being carried by fellow marines makes this image feel quite vulnerable to me.

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In the 4 and a half years serving as Secretary of Defense under two Presidents, Robert Gates’ made his 12th and final trip to Afghanistan this week. Fortunately for me, it was Reuters’ turn to embark...

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