News: Marines, Afghans work together to restore Safaar bazaar
Story by Cpl. Skyler Tooker
GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan— Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, are working with Afghan residents and local business owners to resume business at the Safaar bazaar following a recent clearing operation in Safaar, Afghanistan.
Marines uncovered and removed more than 50 improvised explosive devices planted by the Taliban. Some of the IED's planted by the Taliban were located inside the bazaar, causing damage to some of the shops.
The civil affairs Marines provided time for the Safaar bazaar shop owners to enter the bazaar after the clearing operation to identify and assess any damages caused by the IED's.
“We allowed the shop owners to go in and see if there was any damage to their shops,” said Capt. Gilbert Nelson, a civil affairs officer with 3/1. “We took photos of the shop owners and marked all the shops, so we know where all the shops are located to put in our database.”
The civil affairs Marines with 3/1 spoke with the Afghan shop owners, to identify any damage sustained to their shops during the clearing operation.
“This information will allow us in the future to compensate for any damage that was done to their shops,” said Nelson, 27, from Oakton, Va.
Once the civil affairs team gathers all the information about the damage shops and the goods that were destroyed during the clearing, they will be able to start the renovation.
The bazaar renovation will encourage local Afghan businessmen to open shops in the area, stimulating the local economy.
“Soon will be able to get the shop owners in their shops for more hours each day, until finally we will be able to fully open the bazaar,” Nelson said.