Top Europe & Africa news photos from 2016

Top Europe & Africa news photos from 2016

Across much of Europe and Africa, 2016 was a year of tumult. There were seismic shifts in politics, with the falls of prime ministers David Cameron of Britain and Matteo Renzi of Italy, both of whom stepped down after losing referendums. Iceland's prime minister resigned, triggering early elections, after protests over his offshore holdings, which were revealed in the Panama Papers leak. Europe itself often seemed to be falling apart amid disagreements about migration, money and sovereignty — an impression that was confirmed when Britons voted to leave the European Union.

Brussels, Istanbul and Nice in southern France were rattled by horrific attacks blamed on the Islamic State group. Earthquakes shook Italy, destroying churches and historic buildings and leaving nearly 300 people dead. Hundreds more died in a failed coup attempt in Turkey, the repercussions of which are still being felt five months later.

The flow of refugees into Europe from war-torn and poverty-stricken regions continued in much smaller numbers than 2015, but more people died trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy. In Calais, France, authorities finally dismantled the sprawling camp known as the jungle.

In Africa, a number of countries, notably Congo, simmered over corruption claims or leaders accused of clinging to power. In Kenya, police beat and tear gassed people during weeks of protests over electoral reforms. Witnesses said at least five were killed. In the Central African Republic, the U.N. World Food Program estimated that nearly half the country faced hunger as more than two years of violence has disrupted agriculture and health care.

Here is a selection of top 2016 photos from AP photographers across Europe and Africa.

To see all of the top photos of 2016 galleries, click here.

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Visual artist and Digital Storyteller at The Associated Press