These men have come from a different area. But local villagers are also present. Just down the road, we came across this man offering to help the police at a small outpost
“If the Taliban came here, then they can come to my house too,” he tells us, “so we have to defend ourselves.”
As the Afghan military struggles to stop a sweeping Taliban advance across the countryside, one that threatens to overrun the Kabul government, the authorities are asking volunteers to join what they call popular uprisings to stand and fight alongside the army.
Some are flocking back to old established fighting groups, throwbacks to the days of fighting Soviets and then in the civil war in the 1990s that followed the Russian withdrawal.
Further north, in the Panjshir Valley, we see young men, some clutching little more than antique hunting rifles, prepare to go join the war effort. Signing up just a few days ago, they are a collection of rural volunteers that America and the world never imagined the country would need, after billions of dollars spent on the nation’s armed forces.
Do you feel as though America abandoned this country?