Afghanistan: District after district falls to the Taliban

Experts say that Taliban feel emboldened by the US' decision to withdraw all troops form Afghanistan by September

The Taliban are intensifying attacks across Afghanistan to gain more territory ahead of NATO's troop withdrawal in September. The militant group now controls vast swaths of land.

Heavy fighting in many districts in recent weeks has inflicted heavy losses on both Taliban and government forces.

On Wednesday, more than 20 Afghan commandos were killed in the northern Faryab province as they tried to regain control of Dawlat Abad district, which Taliban militants had seized 10 days ago.

The group's attempts to take over district capitals have also resulted in civilian casualties. Many locals in these areas are fleeing for their lives to safe havens.

According to authorities and residents, Taliban fighters have destroyed government buildings in some district capitals after capturing the cities for a short period of time and then withdrawing.

Khan Abad, in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province district, fell to the Taliban in May, but the militants were subsequently pushed back by government forces.