As US and NATO international troops leave Afghanistan, the Taliban is gaining ground.

Taliban fighters and Afghan government forces are now fighting for three major cities in the south and west of the country.

There are fears for the humanitarian situation in the country.

As of September, there will be no more international troops in Afghanistan.

Since the announcement of its departure in May, the Taliban has been on the rise.

At first the fighters mainly controlled rural areas, but now fighting is also taking place in the crucial cities of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar.

It is estimated that the Taliban now controls half of the country, including key border crossings with Iran and Pakistan.

According to the International Organization for Migration, about 30,000 Afghans flee the country every week because of the violence,

the New York Times reported

.

That is 30 to 40 percent more than before the withdrawal of the international troops began.

Many more people are displaced within the borders.

Taliban fighters are already said to be in the heart of the city of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

On Saturday, they were just a few hundred meters from Lashkar Gah's governor's office.

MP Gul Ahmad Kamin told the

BBC

that violence in Kandahar is increasing hourly.

According to him, it is the most fierce fighting in twenty years.

Violence is also escalating in Herat, Afghanistan's second largest city.

The US still carries out air strikes there to assist the Afghan army.

Last Friday, a United Nations office in Herat came under fire.

According to a Taliban spokesman, the office was in the crossfire between government forces and Taliban fighters and employees need not worry.