Kiwi journalist reveals what it's like to live in Kabul as Taliban takes control

The Taliban has arrived in Kabul on a charm offensive, promising no bloodshed - but it still has a hit list, says a Kiwi journalist stationed in the Afghanistan capital.

Charlotte Bellis is in Kabul working as a journalist for Al Jazeera, and told The AM Show the Taliban's arrival on Monday was "surprisingly friendly".

"A few of them drove in on US humvees with the Taliban flag and they were waving - people waved back and there were some cheers."

But Bellis says come nightfall it could be a very different story.

"There's already been a bit of looting, a lot of Westerners have fled. I have friends who have bought guns."

She says while the Taliban have promised a peaceful transition of power and say they don't want bloodshed, it's easy to look to regions where they have held control for some time to see what the reality is.

"There have been stories verified of atrocities - things like targeted assassinations. They have a hit list and they kill people on it and make no apologies for that."

This hit list is frighteningly close to home for Bellis who says she saw the name of an associate on it.

"Last week they said a person I was with was on this hit list and I said it would be unfortunate if you killed him and they said 'well no, he can call this hotline and get amnesty.'"

But whether that amnesty will be delivered is unclear.

Bellis says there is "no chance" the US will re-enter Afghanistan, saying this knowledge is likely what caused the Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani to flee the country, but there is one thing that is holding the Taliban back.

"They know they can't govern without foreign money and they want legitimacy - that's why they didn't take Kabul by force and it's why they've stopped at this point so they don't fall down."

Despite promises of peace, Reuters reports 80 people have been hospitalised since the takeover and sporadic gunfire has been heard across the city of Kabul.

The insurgents also captured the eastern city of Jalalabad, without a fight, giving them control of one of the main highways into landlocked Afghanistan. They also took over the nearby Torkham border post with Pakistan, leaving Kabul airport the only way out of Afghanistan still in government hands.

"Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives," a Jalalabad-based Afghan official told Reuters.