Where is it?
Located in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Now Zad was a thriving market town, boasting a population of around 10,000 and a popular bazaar. The UN deemed the town important enough to fund the building a school, until ...
Hey, where did everybody go?
The Taliban also saw Now Zad as a strategic point in their campaign to rid Afghanistan of Western infidels. Once the fighting started with British troops and their ninja allies (well, Ghurkas), the civilian population decided not to stay in the fucking middle of the shit, and got out of Dodge.
Why it’s scary as hell
When the British troops pulled out, handing over responsibility for the town to US Marines, they left some words of encouragement painted on building walls. Some motivational like “Good luck U.S!” (no double meaning there), and some a bit more to the point, “Welcome to Hell”.
And not without good reason. The insurgents had left the fucking streets paved with landmines, bombs in every shopfront, and bombs just everywhere, in a tactic known to many military strategists as the Home Alone Tactic, and to others as the If You Can Take Three Steps Without Blowing Up You Can Have The Place gambit.
Every marine on duty in Now Zad has a few additions to their standard issue gear, namely an emergency transfusion kit and two tourniquets. Stop and think about why one tourniquet isn’t enough. That’s right, you’re expected to lose both legs on any given day. Apparently going a day without losing a limb is against the norm.