Afghan civilians are arming themselves in preparation for Taliban attacks.
As US-led forces begin to leave Afghanistan, ahead of a September 11 deadline for withdrawal, the people they were supposed to protect are facing a potential civil war.
A Reuters report from Parwan Province, north of Kabul, spoke to a group of men at a hillside look-out post. They had a warning for Taliban fighters.
'If they impose war on us, oppress us and encroach on women and people's property, even our seven-year-old children will be armed and will stand against them,' said 55-year-old Dost Mohammad Salangi, a former mujahideen fighter.
Taliban forces have made significant territorial gains as international military forces wind down operations in the country, taking more than 50 of 370 districts and threatening to seize several provincial capitals.
'We have to protect our country... now there is no choice as the foreign forces abandon us,' Farid Mohammed, a student, told Reuters.
The civilian fighters are part of what is being called a Public Uprising Force. Ajmal Omar Shinwari, a spokesman for the Afghan defense and security forces, said anyone keen to fight the Taliban is being absorbed into the territorial army.
However, some political analysts are warning of a return to civil war.
It's almost as if the last 20 years were all for nothing..
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