Yearender 2019: Reliving the year via pictures

From evacuation of Islamic State's last holdout to the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral, here are the biggest news stories of the year, capturing images of armed conflict, global wave of anti-government protests, natural disasters and the plight of war bound children. 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed

An aerial view taken on October 27, 2019, shows the site that was hit by helicopter gunfire which reportedly killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha in the Idlib province along the border with Turkey, where "groups linked to the Islamic State (IS) group" were present, according to a Britain-based war monitor with sources inside Syria.

The helicopters targeted a home and a car on the outskirts of Barisha, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, after US media said IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was believed to be dead following a US military raid in the same province.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the helicopters likely belonged to the US-led military coalition that has been fighting the extremist group in Syria.

(Photograph:AFP)

Islamic State's last holdout evacuated

A member of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) searches a woman after she left the IS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 27, 2019.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Burnt Amazon rainforest

Brazilian farmer Helio Lombardo Do Santos and a dog walk through a burnt area of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on August 26, 2019.

Hundreds of new fires flared up in the Amazon in Brazil, even as military aircraft dumped water over hard-hit areas and G7 nations pledged to help combat the blazes.

Smoke choked Port Velho city and forced the closure of the airport for nearly two hours as fires raged in the northwestern state of Rondonia where fire-fighting efforts are concentrated, amid a growing global uproar and a diplomatic spat between France and Brazil.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Hong Kong unrest

Pro-democracy protesters react as police fire water cannons outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 15, 2019.

Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas and water cannons on September 15 at hardcore pro-democracy protesters hurling rocks and petrol bombs, in a return to the political chaos plaguing the city.

(Photograph:AFP)

Trump steps into North Korea

US President Donald Trump steps into the northern side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un looks on, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019.

(Photograph:AFP)

Turkish invasion in Syria

Turkish soldiers and Turkey-backed Syrian fighters gather on the northern outskirts of the Syrian city of Manbij near the Turkish border on October 14, 2019, as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria.

Turkey wants to create a roughly 30-kilometre buffer zone along its border to keep Kurdish forces at bay and also to send back some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Notre Dam Cathedral fire

A huge fire swept through the roof of the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019, sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year. A spokesman for the cathedral said that the wooden structure supporting the roof was being gutted by the blaze.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Yellow vest' protests

A demonstrator gestures on a burning barricade on January 5, 2019 in Paris, during an anti-government demonstration called by the yellow vest "Gilets Jaunes" movement. France's "yellow vest" protestors were back on the streets again as a government spokesman denounced those still protesting as hard-liners who wanted only to bring down the government. Several hundred protestors gathered on the Champs Elysees in central Paris, where around 15 police wagons were also deployed. Marches were underway in several other cities across France.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Up and down' at US-Mexico border

American and Mexican families play with a toy called "up and down" (Seesaw swing) over the Mexican border with US at the Anapra zone in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico on July 28, 2019.

(Photograph:AFP)

-29C in Chicago

Marius Radoi keeps his balance as he walks on the edge of Lake Michigan's shore line as temperatures dropped to -29C on January 30, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Frostbite warnings were issued for parts of the US Midwest on January 30, 2019, as temperatures colder than Antarctica grounded flights, forced schools and businesses to close and disrupted life for tens of millions.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Rwandan genocide mass graves discovered

A worker stands near victims' bones recovered from pits which were used as mass grave during 1994 Rwandan genocide and hidden under houses in Kabuga, in the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda on April 9, 2019. Rwanda on April 7, 2019 began 100 days of mourning for more than 800,000 people slaughtered in a genocide that shocked the world, a quarter of a century on from the day it began.

(Photograph:AFP)

When Afghan boy got new prosthetic leg

Ahmad Sayed Rahman, a five-year-old Afghan boy who lost his right leg when he was hit by a bullet in the crossfire of a battle, dances with his prosthetic leg at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospital for war victims and the disabled, in Kabul on May 7, 2019.

With his hands in the air and an infectious grin spreading from ear to ear, a young Afghan boy whirls around a Kabul hospital room on his new prosthetic leg.

The boy, five-year-old Ahmad Sayed Rahman, has become a social media star in Afghanistan and beyond after a short video of him effortlessly dancing on his new limb was published this week on Twitter.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Victims of Ebola virus

Health workers carry a coffin containing a victim of Ebola virus on May 16, 2019, in Butembo. The city of Butembo is at the epicentre of the Ebola crisis, the death toll of the outbreak to date is now over 1,000 deaths.

The Red Cross warned that critical underfunding could force it to cut vital work to rein in the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo at a time when case numbers are soaring.

(Photograph:AFP)

Palestinians celebrate Ramadan amid confrontations

Palestinian families break their fast next to a building destroyed in recent confrontations between Hamas and Israel, in the Gaza Strip on May 18, 2019, during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Spanish coast guard refugee rescue

Migrants queue upon their arrival at the harbour of Malaga on August 29, 2019, after an inflatable boat carrying 132 migrants was rescued by the Spanish coast guard, off the Spanish coast.
 

(Photograph:AFP)