Thousands of Afghan civilians have taken up arms to support the armed forces in the fight against the Taliban insurgency across Afghanistan as international troops withdraw.
During the past three days, several political parties, Afghan politicians, and former anti-Taliban commanders started mobilizing their supporters, while some are trying to push the insurgents from their areas.
A local politician from northern Kunduz province, Ghulam Rabbani Rabbani, said that he has taken up his gun to prevent the Taliban from capturing the provincial capital.
"We want to support our security forces and defend our honour, identity, freedoms and rights," Rabbani said.
The mobilization came after the Taliban fighters overran dozens of districts one after another in the past weeks, forcing the government forces to either flee or surrender with their guns and equipment.
In reaction, the Taliban on Wednesday warned that they "will be stern" in dealing with those who are arming people.
68 districts captured
At least 68 districts have been captured by the Taliban since the start of the official withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan on 1 May.
Local officials confirmed on Wednesday that five districts have been captured by the militants in the past 24 hours in the country's Ghazni, Paktia and Badakhshan provinces.
Since the beginning of the withdrawal of the international troops, at least 54,000 people have been displaced within the country due to the conflict, according to UN data.
Currently, the country is in a state of uncertainty, with experts fearing a devastating civil war ahead.