The Taliban say they have changed. Reports of violence in Afghanistan say otherwise

The Taliban say they have changed. Reports of violence in Afghanistan say otherwise

Photo Taliban crackdown on protests and bloody women and children beaten by militants contradict the more moderate image that the militant group is trying to project by seizing power in Afghanistan.

Less than 24 hours after As a Taliban official provided security guarantees during a press conference in Kabul, militants attempted to prevent locals from planting the Afghan national flag in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The former police officer also told Reuters that 4 people were killed and 13 injured during the protest. Afghan news agency Pajhwok shared video footage of the alleged incident, showing a crowd running to the sound of gunfire. NBC News was unable to verify the footage.

Meanwhile, Taliban assurances that those who wish could safely reach the Kabul airport, where thousands of people rushed in a desperate attempt to leave the country, were also undermined by the report and photographs of the Los Angeles Times journalist.

One of the graphic images shows a woman and a child with blood on their faces and apparently unconscious.

Hundreds of people were at the airport entrance on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Allegedly, the Taliban demanded to show documents before letting at least some passengers inside. According to the agency, the Taliban fired warning shots from time to time to disperse the people.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said they were getting reports of people being denied entry or even beaten when trying to get into the airport.

Meanwhile, the US embassy has been working outside the airport coordinating further evacuation. On Tuesday, Biden administration officials told Senate officials that 15,000 Americans remained in Afghanistan.

These reports contrast with the new image that the Taliban tried to project at their first press conference since the capture of Kabul on Tuesday evening.

Their officials deny that the Taliban were involved in such violence, blaming the injuries on people who posed as Taliban.

Vowing not to infringe on women's rights, to welcome a free press and not hold any « grudges against past enemies, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid vowed that the group wanted peaceful relations with other countries. This hardly reassured local residents who reported on militants who are actively looking for female activists and allies of the previous authorities.