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Week in Photos: March 23, 2013

From Irish dancers celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to riots in Burma, see the week’s most striking images.

JM Lopez/AFP/Getty

Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty

Serjilla, Syria

March 19, 2013
A Syrian shepherd cares for his flock near the ruins of the ancient Roman city, in the northwestern province of Idlib. The conflict in Syria has killed at least 70,000 people, and forced more than 1 million Syrians to seek refuge abroad.

Kobi Gideon/Government Press Office of Israel,via Getty

Tel Aviv, Israel

March 19, 2013
Preparations are made at Ben Gurion International Airport for the arrival of President Obama, who made his first visit as president to the region Wednesday. His itinerary included meetings with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders as well as a visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Kabul, Afghanistan

March 20, 2013
Afghan women hold their children as they chat with each other.

Kay Nietfeld/dpa/Corbis

Berlin, Germany

March 20, 2013
Traces of birds and shoes are seen in the snow-covered Volkspark Wilmersdorf.

Sandy Huffaker/Corbis

Chicago, Illinois

March 17, 2013
Young Irish-American folk dancers prepare to march during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

JM Lopez/AFP/Getty

Aleppo, Syria

March 16, 2013
A Syrian rebel aims his weapon as he takes position behind a makeshift barricade during clashes with regime forces in the Salaheddine district. As Syria’s devastating conflict enters its third year, Britain and France are struggling to persuade their European Union partners to ease the bloc’s embargo and allow arms shipments to the rebels.

Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty

Meiktila, Burma

March 21, 2013
Residents walk past destroyed houses as black smoke rises from burning buildings. At least 10 people have been killed in riots in central Burma, a member of parliament said, prompting international concern at the country’s worst communal unrest since a wave of Buddhist-Muslim clashes last year.

Adek Berry/AFP/Getty

Bekasi, Indonesia

March 21, 2013
Indonesian Luspida, left, prays as congregation members of the Taman Sari Batak Christian Protestant Church cry as they watch their church be demolished on the outskirts of Jakarta. A local government in Indonesia demolished the church in front of its weeping congregation as Muslim protesters branded them “infidels.”

Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty

Kabul, Afghanistan

March 21, 2013
Afghan families gather on a hilltop near Sakhi shrine, the center of the Afghanistan new year celebrations in Kabul during Nowruz festivities. Nowruz, one of the biggest festivals of the war-scarred nation, marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. Nowruz is calculated according to a solar calendar, this coming year marking 1392.

Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Barsana, India

March 21, 2013
Hindu devotees play with color during Lathmaar Holi celebrations near Mathura. The tradition of playing with colors on Holi draws its roots from a legend of Radha and the Hindu god Krishna. It is believed that young Krishna was jealous of Radha’s fair complexion since he himself was himself very dark. After Radha questioned his mother, Yashoda, on the darkness of his complexion, Yashoda teasingly asked Krishna to color Radha’s face in whichever color he wanted. In a mischievous mood, Krishna applied color to Radha’s face. The tradition of applying color to one’s beloved has been religiously followed ever since.

Weng Xinyang/Xinhua/Corbis

Sao Paulo, Brazil

March 19, 2013
This multi-exposure photo shows models presenting creations from Acquastudio during Sao Paulo Fashion Week Summer 2013/14, which closed on Friday.

Carlos Alvarez/Getty

Madrid, Spain

March 20, 2013
Prince Felipe of Spain attends several audiences at Zarzuela Palace.

Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty

Manas, Kyrgyzstan

March 21, 2013
U.S. soldiers from the 438th Medical Unit wait to board a plane on their way home from Afghanistan at the U.S. transit center, 18 miles from Bishkek. International coalition forces are to exit Afghanistan by the end of next year, leaving local forces to fight the Taliban alone.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Arlington, Virginia

March 19, 2013
Headstones are reflected in a photograph leaning against the headstone for Iraq war casualty U.S. Army Master Sgt. Tulsa Tulaga Tuliau, on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery. Tuliau was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations near Rustimayah, Iraq, on Sept. 26, 2005.

Lee Jin-man/AP

Paju, South Korea

March 19, 2013
A North Korean soldier looks at the southern side through a pair of binoculars at the border village of the Panmunjom, or DMZ, that has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War. The United States is flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on training missions over South Korea to highlight Washington’s commitment to defend an ally amid rising tensions with North Korea, Pentagon officials said Monday.

Frank Franklin II/AP

New York, New York

March 15, 2013
Louisville coach Rick Pitino gestures to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame at the Big East Conference tournament. Louisville won 69-57.

Majid Saeedi/Getty

Kabul, Afghanistan

March 21, 2013
An Afghan soldier keeps watch using his binoculars near the Sakhi shrine.

A.M. Ahad/AP

Dhaka, Bangladesh

March 18, 2013
A Bangladeshi boy looks inside a car vandalized by Bangladesh National Party activists during a general strike. Opposition activists in Bangladesh’s capital detonated several homemade bombs and torched at least one bus during a general strike, as the country’s political unrest continued. No injuries were reported in the blasts. The BNP and its 17 partners were enforcing the strike, which is aimed at securing the release of 154 opposition leaders and activists detained this month.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Tokyo, Japan

March 19, 2013
A model displays a creation by the Japanese designer Jotaro Saito from the 2013–14 autumn/winter collection at Tokyo Fashion Week.

Eric Risberg/AP

San Francisco, California

March 19, 2013
The Dominican Republic’s Miguel Tejada catches a foul ball hit by Puerto Rico’s Jesus Feliciano during the seventh inning of the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. The Dominican Republic won 3-0.

Majid Saeedi/Getty

Kabul, Afghanistan

March 21, 2013
Afghan families gather near the Sakhi shrine, which is the center of the Afghanistan new year celebrations during Nowruz.

Mike Kemp/Corbis

London, England

March 19, 2013
Hundreds of people dressed as George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer and second lord of the treasury of the United Kingdom, gather in Westminster to protest a need for food aid and what they view as tax dodging.

Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty

Marseille, France

March 20, 2013
A drop of water reflects a map of the earth. World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to draw attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended by the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.