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Life in Iraq can be both rewarding and trying. These photographs depict what life is like for U.S. troops and Iraqis serving and living in the war-torn country:

Unidentified boys at a market near Taji village, north of Baghdad.

Mahdi Saleh Ali, a resident of Tarmiyah, mugs for the camera on election day. At left is Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Alers of the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade out of Fort Riley, Kan.

With big brown eyes, an unidentified boy in Sadr City looks up in awe at American soldiers.

Sgt. Luis Soto Rivera, of Troop I, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment of Fort Carson, Colo., shows off one of the soldiers’ beloved snack during a break in a mission south of Baghdad.

Capt. David Underwood, commander of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division of Fort Stewart, Ga., stops for tea at a Baghdad cafe. The break didn’t last long, though. Just minutes after the tea arrived three car bombs erupted in central Baghdad and Underwood rushed to the scene.

An unidentified Iraqi boy sells tomatoes at a marketplace in eastern Baghdad.

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