Warning: this story contains images many will find disturbing
The first foreign troops have arrived in Afghanistan to evacuate citizens, as Taliban fighters continue a rapid and brutal takeover of key provinces.
The United States and the United Kingdom have rushed troops in to help organise the rush to evacuate.
There are now concerns the capital Kabul could be at risk of falling into the hands of the Taliban within a week.
There is confusion and fear in the eyes of Afghanistan's most vulnerable with makeshift camps in the capital where an estimated 250,000 have fled their homes.
"We're worried," Kabul resident Ahmad Sakhi says. "There's fighting everywhere in Afghanistan and the provinces are falling day after day."
Fellow resident Zamanuddin Khan says: "The Taliban ruled here before, and they didn't rule in the peoples' interest."
The Taliban rule with murder and oppression and a video posted online appears to show this with 14 bodies - young men and women - where it's claimed they were executed for fighting back.
"People have been forced to flee from their homes and the humanitarian needs are growing by the hour and hospitals are overflowing," Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres says.
The white flag of the Taliban has now been raised in Lashkar Gar - the country's third-largest city - with similar scenes playing out in other cities.
"We have noted with great concern the speed with which they have been moving and the lack of resistance that they have faced," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby says.
Evacuations of foreign diplomats and citizens have begun and the US is adamant a takeover of Kabul is not imminent.
But since their troops have pulled out, the Taliban have taken control of about a third of Afghanistan's provincial capitals.
Fighters are collecting the spoils of war left by the retreating Afghan forces as they move toward the capital.
"I'm afraid of being killed, like, I'm totally sure that I will not survive here," says Banafsheh Rahimi, who studied on an American scholarship in the capital.
Hundreds of Afghans are stranded on Pakistan's side of the border after its closure by insurgents.
The overriding fear is the human rights improvements made over the past two decades, could very swiftly be reversed.
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