Afghan government forces abandoned or were pushed out of six district centres across the country in the past 24 hours, as Taliban militants gain more ground, local officials confirmed on Monday.
The fallen districts are Obe in Herat, Saghar in Ghor, Sayad in Sar-e Pul, Arghandab in Zabul, and Lash-e Juwayn and Pusht-e Road districts in Farah provinces.
The forces, who were under siege in the district centres for a long time, have either escaped to join other forces or evacuated with the help of air support after they did not receive air and ground support, according to the provincial councillors.
Some also left their military equipment and ammunition behind.
Local officials further said that it was not clear immediately what happened to some soldiers who had retreated.
In addition to the six fallen districts, Khan Abad district in Kunduz was briefly captured by the insurgents on Monday, but security forces retook it.
The militants have seen a string of gains recently.
Since the beginning of the official withdrawal of the United States and other NATO troops on May 1, at least 23 districts have fallen to the Taliban.