At least 3 people were shot dead in the city of Jalalabad where a local residents tried to put up a flag of the Afghan republic.
Afghan Taliban faced its first major internal challenge on Wednesday as people in two different cities came out to protest, which turned violent as the militiamen open fired.
In Jalalabad, three people were killed and more than a dozen injured after Taliban fighters shot at protestors following an attempt by local residents to install Afghanistan's national flag at a square, witnesses told Reuters.
A Taliban source claimed only one person had been killed in the city, located some 150 km (90 miles) to the east of Kabul near the country's border with Pakistan.
Video footage shot by Pajhwok Afghan News, a local news agency, showed protesters who were carrying the Afghan flag fleeing with the sound of gunshots in the background.
A former police official said that four people had been killed and 13 injured in the protests, without giving further details.
It was not immediately possible to verify how the deaths occurred.
"There were some troublemakers who wanted to create issues for us," said a Taliban militant who was present in Jalalabad at the time of the incident. "These people are exploiting our relaxed policies."
Taliban spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.
Similar protests took place in the city of Khost.
While Unites States surrendered and escaped from Afghanistan in the dead of the night, here Afghan locals in Jalalabad without any weapons or support are showing what resistance and courage means. Afghans remove Taliban flag and wave Afghan tricolour in a protest against Taliban. pic.twitter.com/YIcqrFm6yf— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 18, 2021
Protests today in support of our national flag (on the eve of our Independence Day) in Khost, Jalalabad and Kunar pic.twitter.com/JRFibGKUam— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) August 18, 2021