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A Bangladeshi Muslim prays during the last day of the three-day Islamic Congregationn on the banks of the River Turag in Tongi, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The gathering, held each year since 1966, aims to revive the tenets of Islam and promote peace through prayer.

Pavel Rahman/AP

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A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon in the Saif al-Dawlah neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. The revolution against the Syrian regime started in March 2011 with peaceful protests but morphed into a civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people, according to a recent United Nations estimate.

Andoni Lubaki/AP

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Activists from the women's rights protest group Femen are restrained as Pope Benedict XVI leads his Angelus prayer from the window of his private apartment in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican.


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Supporters of Pakistani Sunni Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, 61, march towards the capital Islamabad, Pakistanin Pakistan. After years in Canada, Qadri returned to Pakistan last month and gave a speech demanding that sweeping election reforms be implemented before elections expected to take place this spring. On Thursday, Pakistan's Minister of Interior Rehman Malik issued a strongly worded statement that Qadri would not be allowed to rally in Islamabad, warning that the Taliban might attack the event.

K.M. Chaudary/AP

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Indian Hindu pilgrims bathe at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, ahead of the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India. Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation of a period of over a month on the banks of Sangam during the Maha Kumbh Mela in January 2013, which falls every 12th year.

Kevin Frayer/AP

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A Japanese physical fitness enthusiast touches a large ice cube while dipping in icy water with other enthusiasts during a winter ritual to keep themselves fit and display their perseverance at Teppozu Inari Shinto Shrine in Tokyo.

Shuji Kajiyama/AP

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Two boys say good-bye to their mom at the Changsha train station in Changsha, China.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Passengers react to participants in the fourth annual 'No Trousers Tube Ride' on the London Underground in London. About 150 people divided into groups and took off their trousers, as part of an annual social media-driven event held in several cities worldwide.


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Men dressed in animal costumes called "kuker" dance in front of a bonfire during a festival in the village of Batanovtsi, some 30 km west of Sofia. Each winter, thousands of men in many Bulgarian towns and villages take part in traditional celebrations for good health and fertility, wearing masks and costumes made of animal fur.


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