ARZO, Afghanistan – When Muhammad Akram Sharifi returned to his village he was forced to flee over a year ago, he was devastated. The mosque, school, and bazaar stores were all in ruins. His house too.
“My children, my grandchildren – 22 people lived here,” Mr. Sharifi said last week. “And now everything is reduced to rubble. My pockets are empty. What are we going to do? “
It is impossible to say how much ammunition was spent in the fight between the Taliban and the Afghan government for the village of Arzo. It is just a dusty village of about 300 houses perched on a rolling hill. But it is also a strategic entry point into the city of Ghazni, a prize of the long war in Afghanistan.
Bullet holes and collapsed structures are visible at every turn. Destruction is everywhere, seemingly frozen in time.