A picture and its story: Key Reuters photographs from 2016

Thomson Reuters

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - From Syria's festering conflict to the Bastille Day attack in Nice, Reuters photographers have been on the scene to record the biggest news stories this year.

A young woman tearing off the niqab she had been forced to wear for two years until U.S.-backed forces liberated her northern Syrian village from Islamic State and a Brazilian mother cradling her daughter who was born with microcephaly are among the most memorable images from 2016.

Reuters has re-released a selection of striking pictures and our photographers' accounts of the events behind them.

Among them is a shot taken by Jonathan Bachman in Louisiana of a woman in a dress calmly standing as police in riot gear confront her during protests against the fatal police shootings of two black men.

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GLOBAL-HIGHLIGHTS/PICTURES

"Moments before I captured this image of Ieshia Evans I had my back turned photographing face-to-face confrontations between the police and the demonstrators," Bachman said in his account.

"I heard someone behind me say something like 'don't stand there, they are arresting people in the street.' I turned and looked over my right shoulder and saw this woman standing in the road. I knew right away what was about to happen. The police were going to arrest her. I quickly moved and took the shot."

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GLOBAL-HIGHLIGHTS/PICTURES

In Nice, 86 people were killed when a Tunisian-born man plowed a truck into crowds watching fireworks on France's July 14 Bastille Day.

Photographer Eric Gaillard took a harrowing picture of a covered body on the ground, a child's doll beside it.

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GLOBAL-HIGHLIGHTS/PICTURES

An image by Czar Dancel of a woman weeping as she held her partner's body went viral in the Philippines last summer. President Rodrigo Duterte called it melodramatic.

Nearly 2,300 drug users and dealers have been killed in police operations or by suspected vigilantes since Duterte took office in June, according to the Philippines police.

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GLOBAL-HIGHLIGHTS/PICTURES

In Iraq, U.S.-backed forces launched an offensive to oust Islamic State militants from their Mosul stronghold. Photographer Goran Tomasevic pictured people running after a coalition airstrike hit Islamic State forces nearby.

"The fighting comes in waves and when things eventually quietened down, I saw a group of civilians making the most of a break in gunfire to come out onto the streets," he said.

"Suddenly an airstrike targeted Islamic State positions a few hundred meters away behind them. It was close and total panic ensued."

Other shots include Donald Trump during the U.S. presidential election campaign and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt smiling at Canadian Andre De Grasse while competing at the Rio Olympics.

Learn more about these photos and see more of 2016's best below:

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