An Afghan filmmaker went viral on social media after posting harrowing footage of herself dramatically running around Kabal as the Taliban took control of the city, warning: “They are coming to kill us.”

Sahraa Karimi posted footage on Instagram over the weekend which shows her rushing through the busy streets of the country’s capital. At some points during the eight-minute video, sirens can be heard, while cars are backed up in traffic jams. She briefly stops to talk to a group of men before continuing on her journey and eventually going indoors, presumably reaching her destination.

In the clip, Karimi, who is visibly distressed, tells the camera: “The Taliban entered Kabul, unfortunately, and we were detained.” She then adds: “Pray for us,” according to a widely reported translation of the clip.

Since posting, the Instagram video has gone viral and has been viewed over 1.2m times.

The country’s Western-backed government dramatically fell on Sunday when Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Taliban moved into Kabul and took over the presidential palace. It came after a rapid advance across the country by the Taliban, some two decades after a US-led coalition expelled Taliban forces.

In another video posted to Twitter on the same day (August 15), the independent film director and scriptwriter pleaded for help.

Alongside her video, she wrote: “Taliban surrounded Kabul, I went to bank to get some money, they closed and evacuated; I still cannot believe this happened, who did happen.

“Please pray for us, I am calling again: Hey ppl of the this big world, please do not be silent, they are coming to kill us [sic].”

People on Twitter have reshared Karimi’s video to spread the word and also sent messages of support and prayers.

In another tweet, she shared an open letter in which she asked for help from “all the film communities in the world”.

“I write to you with a broken heart and a deep hope that you can join me in protecting my beautiful people, especially filmmakers, from the Taliban…They have massacred our people, they kidnapped many children, they sold girls as child brides to their men,” she wrote.

“It’s a humanitarian crisis, and yet the world is silent. We have grown accustomed to this silence, yet we knew it is not fair.”

She added: “I need allies like you. Please help us get this world to care about what is happening to us. Please help us by informing your countries’ most important media what is going on here in Afghanistan. Be our voices outside Afghanistan.

“The world should not turn its back on us. We need your support and your voice on behalf of Afghan women, children, artists, and filmmakers. This support would be the greatest help we need right now.”

In her latest update, Karimi revealed to her concerned followers that she is now “alive and safe” after fleeing Kabul and thanked those that helped her and 11 others escape.

To find out how you can help Afghanistan, here is a list of charities accepting donations.

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