AP PHOTOS: Top pictures in 2015 from Europe and Africa

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Year in Photos: Europe and Africa
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AP PHOTOS: Top pictures in 2015 from Europe and Africa
FILE -People gather to pay respect for the victims of a terror attack against satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
FILE - A demonstrators kicks a teargas canister as clashes broke out with Italian Policemen during a protest against the Expo 2015 fair in Milan, Italy, Friday, May 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)
FILE -People follow the coffin of Boris Nemtsov during a farewell ceremony at the Sakharov center in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Mourners are lining up outside a Moscow human rights center for the funeral of murdered Nemtsov. a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, who was gunned down on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
FILE -People watch as El Tajo y La Reina fighting bulls and revelers run during the running of the bulls, at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Revelers from around the world arrive to Pamplona every year to take part in some of the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
FILE - A woman face is lit by candles placed outside the Colectiv nightclub as she peers from behind the metal gate leading to the club in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. The owners of the Colectiv nightclub were questioned by prosecutors Monday in connection with a fire that engulfed a nightclub Friday night, causing a stampede to a single exit door of the basement club and leaving tens of people dead and many more injured. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
FILE - People watch from their roof-top apartment as some thousands of people gather at Republique square in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Thousands of people began filling Franceâs iconic Republique plaza, and world leaders converged on Paris in a rally of defiance and sorrow on Sunday to honor the 17 victims of three days of bloodshed that left France on alert for more violence. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
FILE - A sailor of the Belgian Navy Vessel Godetia helps a migrant board the ship during a search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coasts, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Hundreds of migrants were rescued on Tuesday by the Godetia, which is among a EU Navy vessels fleet taking part in the Triton migrants rescue operations. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 13, 2015 file photo, a street vendor collects his clothes outside the shutters of a shop in central Athens. Greece, which is in the midst of protracted bailout talks with creditors, is now officially in recession again according to data released Wednesday, less than a year after it emerged from a six-year depression. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)
FILE -Spectators watch as a model displays a creation by Russian designer Slava Zaitsev during Fashion Week, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
FILE -Women in the crowd cover their faces to protect against the smell as authorities display the bodies of the alleged attackers before about 2,000 people in a large open area in central Garissa, Kenya Saturday, April 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE -Migrants arrive during heavy rain at the Hungarian-Austrian border in Nickelsdorf, Austria, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, where they came from Budapest as Austria in the early-morning hours said it and Germany would let them in. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FILE - German chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with U.S. president Barack Obama at Schloss Elmau hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, Monday June 8, 2015 during the G-7 summit. (Michaek Kappeler/Pool Photo via AP, File)
FILE - Migrants sit on the deck of the Belgian Navy vessel Godetia after they were saved at sea during a search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coasts, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Hundreds of migrants were rescued by the Godetia, which is part of a EU Navy vessels fleet taking part in the Triton migrants rescue operation. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
FILE - Police officers give a person medical aid after a grenade blast during clashes between protesters and police following a vote to give greater powers to the east, outside the Parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. The Ukrainian parliament has given preliminary approval to a controversial constitutional amendment that would provide greater powers to separatist regions in the east. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the parliament to protest the amendment. (AP Photo/Vladimir Donsov, File)
FILE -Pope Francis waves to local residents as he drives to St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church in the Kangemi slum of Nairobi, Kenya Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Pope Francis is in Kenya on his first-ever trip to Africa, a six-day pilgrimage that will also take him to Uganda and the Central African Republic. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE - A rescue worker is lifted into an helicopter at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of a Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain's frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers. In a split second, he killed all 150 people aboard the plane. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)
FILE -Police forces operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Police say two suspects in last week's Paris attacks, a man and a woman, have been killed in a police operation north of the capital. Two police officers have been injured in the standoff. Police have said the operation is targeting the suspected mastermind of last week's attacks, believed to be holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis with several other heavily armed suspects. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE - A message that reads: "In the name of what?" and a rose is placed through a bullet hole in a window at the restaurant on Rue de Charonne, Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, where attacks took place on Friday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left more than 120 people dead and over 350 wounded. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FILE - A man carries two children after panic broke out among mourners who payed their respect at the attack sites at restaurant Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia) and the Carillon Hotel in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
FILE - EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Victims of a shooting attack lie on the pavement outside La Belle Equipe restaurant in Paris Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (Anne Sophie Chaisemartin via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT
FILE - A man cries over the body of a victim at the site of an explosion in the capital Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Two bomb explosions targeting a peace rally killed dozens of people and injured scores of others near Ankara's main train station as people were gathering for the rally, organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union and other civic society groups. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, File)
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE -In this photo made on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, migrants prepare to spend a night in the open air, near a tree whose branches were cut for firewood, in Sentilj, Slovenia, near the border with Austria. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FILE - The lifeless body of an elderly unidentified man is seen on the beach after washing up on the shoreline at the village of Skala, on the Greek island of Lesbos, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Authorities recovered more bodies on Lesbos and the Greek island of Samos Sunday as thousands continue to cross from the nearby coast of Turkey despite worsening weather. Greece is pressing the European Union for additional support for their massive daily search and rescue operations. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios, File)
FILE -Afghan migrants disembark safely from their frail boat in bad weather on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean see from Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Greeceâs government says it is preparing a rent-assistance program to cope with a growing number of refugees, who face the oncoming winter and mounting resistance in Europe. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios, File)
FILE - Activists of the international campaigning and advocacy organisation ONE install illuminated balloons with portraits of the G7 heads of state in front of the Frauenkirche cathedral (Church of Our Lady) prior the G7 Finance Ministers meeting in Dresden, eastern Germany, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)
FILE -In this aerial photo, a column of migrants moves through fields after crossing from Croatia, in Rigonce, Slovenia, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. Thousands of people are trying to reach central and northern Europe via the Balkans, but often have to wait for days in mud and rain at the Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian borders. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE -Refugees and migrants are covered with thermal blankets after their arrival on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the Skala Sykaminias village on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. The International Office for Migration says Greece over the last week experienced the largest single weekly influx of migrants and refugees this year, at an average of some 9,600 per day. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios, File)
FILE -German federal police officers guide a group of migrants on their way after crossing the border between Austria and Germany in Wegscheid near Passau, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)
FILE -Paramedics and doctors care for a baby girl after a boat with refugees and migrants sunk while was crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios, File)
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - A Syrian refuggee praises god as he arrive with others from Turkey on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, on a fishing boat, Sunday Sept. 27, 2015. More than 260,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in Greece so far this year, most reaching the country's eastern islands on flimsy rafts or boats from the nearby Turkish coast.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)
FILE -Migrants and refugees board a train by climbing through the windows as they try to avoid a police barrier at the station in Tovarnik, Croatia, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File)
FILE -Migrant whose boat stalled at see while crossing from Turkey to Greece swim to approach a shore of the island of Lesbos, Greece, on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. A boat with 46 migrants or refugees has sunk Sunday in Greece and the coast guard says it is searching for 26 missing off the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 photo, a child is helped cross from Serbia to Hungary through the barbed wire fence near Roszke, southern Hungary. Round the clock, thousands of refugees cross daily along the approximately 110-mile (175-kilometer) border with non-EU member Serbia to the south. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
FILE - A Syrian migrant boy still wearing a swimming ring stands on the beach upon his arrival with other migrants by a dinghy at the southeastern Greek island of Kos, Greece, early Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)
FILE - A woman rests on a train that was stopped in Bicske, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
FILE - A homeless person sleeps back dropped by wallpaper of New York city on the windows of a casino near the main railway station during a police raid in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Police in Romania have searched the capital's sewers in an anti-drug raid and detained dozens of people, mostly homeless, including the suspected ringleader, for questioning on suspicion of trafficking. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
FILE - A policeman stands guard as Muslims take part in Eid al-Fitr prayers at a mosque in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Millions of Muslims across the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)
FILE -Britain's Prince George gets up on tip-toes to peek into the pram of his sister Princess Charlotte flanked by his parents Prince William and Kate the Duchess of Cambridge as they leave after Charlotte's Christening at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool, File)
FILE -People cool down in a fountain beside Manzanares river in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. Weather stations across Spain are warning people to take extra precautions as a heat wave engulfs much of the country, increasing the risk of wildfires. The country's meteorological agency says a mass of hot air originating in Africa is moving northwards, bringing temperatures reaching 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
FILE - A pensioner leans against the main gate of the national bank of Greece as he waits to withdraw a maximum of 120 euros ($134) for the week in Athens in central Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
FILE -Jean Claude Niyonzima, a suspected member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth militia, pleads with soldiers to protect him from a mob of demonstrators after he came out of a sewer in the Cibitoke district of Bujumbura, Burundi, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
FILE - An activist stands on the table of the podium throwing paper at ECB President Mario Draghi, left, as Christine Graeff, Director General of Communications, looks on during a press conference of the European Central Bank, ECB, in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
FILE - A spot of sunlight breaks through the clouds and shines on a vessel on the sea during the partial phase of a solar eclipse before totality as seen from a hill beside a hotel on the edge of the city overlooking Torshavn, the capital of the Faeroe Islands, Friday, March 20, 2015. A blanket of clouds in the Faeroe Islands blocked thousands of people there from experiencing the full effect of the total eclipse. The clouds then cleared after totality. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
FILE - In this Sunday, March 1, 2015, file photo an elderly woman walks across a destroyed bridge, which has collapsed over the road to the airport, the scene of heavy fighting, in Donetsk, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)
FILE - Ami and Ashbu, both three-years-old, walk arm in arm in the Zafaye refugee camp, some 15 kms (10 miles) from downtown N'djamena, Chad, Wednesday March 11, 2015. Both from the PK5 district of Bangui, have been living in the camp for over a year with over 5000 other refugees of Chadian descent who fled the fighting in Central African Republic. Chad is also hosting thousands of refugees fleeing the current Boko Haram fighting in Nigeria. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, photo, Diana Sofia Meliton, 2 years old, sits outside together with belongings after her and her family got evicted by the police and watches a housing right activist re-opening her apartment for them to live in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, file photo, models display creations by designer Anya Hindmarch during the Autumn/Winter 2015 show at London Fashion Week in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
FILE - A woman has taped her mouth displaying the word Freedom on the tape as she gathers with several thousand people in solidarity with victims of two terrorist attacks in Paris, one at the office of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo and another at a kosher market, in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the French embassy in Berlin, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
FILE - In this photo taken on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, top model Chantelle Brown-Young, known as Winnie Harlow, gets her make up applied before displaying a Spring/Summer design by Desigual at Madrid's Fashion Week in Madrid, Spain. Madrid Fashion Week has celebrated its 30th anniversary with presentations from 44 designers and brands by models on catwalks in Spainís premier fashion showcase. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)
FILE -Revellers photograph fireworks over the Arc de Triomphe as they celebrate the New Year on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

LONDON (AP) — Europe in 2015 witnessed the greatest movement of people since World War II, as desperate refugees fleeing Middle East violence arrived by the hundreds of thousands on its shores. The continent also suffered extremist attacks that exposed the vulnerability of its civilians and challenged its way of life.

Africa suffered devastating attacks as well but also welcomed Pope Francis with joy.

As the tumultuous year draws to a close, The Associated Press is looking back on 12 months of upheaval in Europe and Africa by presenting the most memorable images by AP photographers. These stories highlight how interconnected the world has become, with Europe facing grave challenges stemming in large part from unrest in the Middle East.

Deadly attacks on Paris touched a global nerve — in January with the slaughter at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and in November with coordinated attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives and wounded hundreds. But there were major extremist attacks elsewhere as well — in Nigeria, Tunisia, Turkey and other countries.

Memorable —and often painful — images came from other tragedies, including a plane crash in the French Alps, a deadly fire in a Romanian nightclub and a political assassination in Moscow.

The migration crisis produced some of the most iconic images of the year along the hazardous journey toward northern Europe. Some refugees exulted in their survival, raising their arms in joy and relief when their flimsy rafts made landfall in Europe. Others drowned in the sea, including 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body was photographed after washing up on a Turkish beach and galvanized the world's horror at the unfolding crisis.

These photographs show a Europe that is both less isolated and more vulnerable, its borders elastic, its control mechanisms threatened, its capitals both defiant and fearful.

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