THE Taliban has captured a quarter of Afghanistan in a bloody three-week onslaught as Nato forces race to leave by tomorrow.
Rampaging militants seized nearly 140 district centres as Afghan forces collapsed, surrendered or ran out of ammo.
Terrified residents formed self-defence militias and warlords threatened to mobilise along old civil war lines.
They have been unable to halt the insurgents’ advance.
A report by the Afghan Analysts Network warned: “The Taliban onslaught has seen a collapse of the Afghan National Security Forces of unprecedented speed and scale.”
Most British troops left quietly last week after President Joe Biden’s US withdrawal order.
Hero Royal Marine Ben McBean, who lost an arm and a leg in Afghanistan, said it felt like British troops were “sneaking out” after 20 years of war.
He added: “They are going out with a whimper and it’s sh*t.”
The Taliban has seized 137 district centres since May 1, the AAN says.
They already controlled vast swathes of the countryside, including most of Helmand where British troops were based.
The report says: “After the Biden announcement, there was no longer any benefit to be gained by restraint.
“At the same time, a major deterrent against the Taliban massing forces to attack urban centres — the threat of US airstrikes — had disappeared almost entirely.”
US commander in Afghanistan General Scott Miller and UK chief of defence staff General Sir Nick Carter have both warned the country could be plunged into civil war by Mr Biden’s decision.