The powerful winning images from the 2017 World Press Photo Contest

The winners of the 60th annual World Press Photo Contest have been announced, showing the most powerful and most striking photos taken by photojournalists over the past year.

The winners were selected from 80,408 images taken by 5,034 photographers from 125 different countries, the group said.

The World Press Photo of the Year honours the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year.

The winning picture for 2017 was taken by Burhan Ozbilici – who also won first prize in the Spot News Stories category – showing how Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, on 19 December 2016.

Altıntaş wounded three other people before being killed by officers in a shootout. Ozbilici is a staff photographer for The Associated Press, based in Istanbul.

“It was a very very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the Year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times,” said Mary Calvert, one of the members of the jury that selected the winner.

“Every time it came on the screen you almost had to move back because it’s such an explosive image and we really felt that it epitomizes the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year is and means.”

These are the winners in the 2017 awards – the full gallery, including runners up can be found on the World Press Photo website.

Note: Singles refer to individual images, stories refer to a series of photos – galleries to these series are linked. Warning: some images below are graphic and may upset readers.

Headline imageA man is treated with milk of magnesia after being pepper sprayed by police at the blockade on highway 1806. From Contemporary Issues first prize winner for stories, Amber Bracken.

World Press Photo of the Year – An Assassination in Turkey

Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş shouts after shooting Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. / Burhan Ozbilici

Contemporary Issues

Single – Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge

Lone activist Ieshia Evans stands her ground while offering her hands for arrest as she is charged by riot police during a protest against police brutality outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana, USA. / Jonathan Bachman

Story – Standing Rock – Gallery

Veterans carry an American and a Mohawk Warrior Society flag through the storm. The Mohawk flag came to prominence during the 1990 Canadian Oka Crisis, when the military confronted indigenous people in a major armed conflict for the first time in modern history. / Amber Bracken

Daily Life

Single – The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War

At the hospital, Najiba holds her two-year-old nephew Shabir who was injured from a bomb blast in Kabul. / Paula Bronstein

Story – Cuba on the Edge of Change – Gallery

A woman shares a taxi ride to Santiago de Cuba. / Tomás Munita

General News

Single – Offensive on Mosul

The Iraqi Special Operations Forces search houses of Gogjali, an eastern district of Mosul, looking for Daesh members, equipment, and evidence. / Laurent Van der Stockt

Story – They Are Slaughtering Us like Animals – Gallery

Six-year-old Jimji cries in anguish as she screams “papa” before funeral parlor workers move the body of her father, Jimboy Bolasa, from the wake at the start of the funeral to Navotas Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. / Daniel Berehulak

Long-term Projects – Black Days of Ukraine – Gallery

Civilians escape from a fire at a house destroyed by an air attack in the Luhanskaya village. / Valery Melnikov



Single – Caretta Caretta Trapped

A sea turtle entangled in a fishing net swims off the coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. / Francis Pérez

Story – Rhino Wars – Gallery

A black rhino bull is seen dead, poached for its horns less than 8 hours earlier at Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa. It is suspected that the killers came from a local community approximately 5 kilometers away, entering the park illegally, shooting the rhino at a water hole with a high-powered, silenced hunting rifle. / Brent Stirton


Single – What ISIS Left Behind

Five-year-old Maha and her family fled from the village Hawija outside Mosul, Iraq / Magnus Wennman

Story – Aenikkaeng – Gallery

Young Korean-Mayan descendants during the 90th birthday party of Joaquin Poot Lee, a second generation Korean-Mayan. / Michael Vince Kim


Single – Grand National Steeplechase

Jockey Nina Carberry flies off her horse, Sir Des Champs, as they fall at The Chair fence during the Grand National steeplechase, during day three of the Grand National Meeting at Aintree Racecourse on 9 April 2016 in Liverpool, England. / Tom Jenkins

Story – Boys Will Be Boys – Gallery

Muddy York Rugby Football Club’s player Danny Perez (standing) and his partner Jonathan Buckley cuddle on the balcony of their condominium in Toronto, Ontario. / Giovanni Capriotti

Spot News

Single – Pakistan Bomb Blast

Lawyers help their injured colleagues after a bomb explosion in Quetta, Pakistan. / Jamal Taraqai

Story – An Assassination in Turkey – Gallery

Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, speaks at an art gallery before being shot by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, left, in Ankara, Turkey. / Burhan Ozbilici

Read: Terrifying photos of Somerset West wildfires

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