CNN  — 

A small group of Afghan women braved the Taliban-controlled streets of Kabul once more on Saturday to demand equal rights and the ability to participate in government, CNN has confirmed.

In a bold public challenge to the militant group’s rule, female activists have staged at least three small demonstrations across the country in the past week.

Footage shared by Afghan news network TOLO news Saturday showed a confrontation between Taliban guards and some of the women. In the video, a man on a megaphone is heard telling the small crowd “we will pass your message to the elders.” His voice appears to be calm. But towards the end of the video, women can be heard screaming, with one activist saying “why are you hitting us?”

Violence reportedly broke out after Taliban forces prevented the women from marching on to the presidential palace, according to TOLO, which reported the use of tear gas on protesters.

Taliban guards intervene against women holding a demonstration in Kabul on September 4, 2021.

“Together with a group of our colleagues, we wanted to go near the former government offices for a protest. But before we got there, the Taliban hit women with electric tasers, and they used tear gas against women. They also hit women on the head with a gun magazine, and the women became bloody. There was no one to ask why,” Soraya, a former government employee present at the protest scene on Saturday, told Reuters.

A video of Afghan activist Narjis Sadat bleeding from her head was shared widely on social media, claiming she had been beaten by militant fighters at the protest. CNN has reached out to Sadat for comment.

Taliban leaders on Twitter dismissed the videos being shared online of violence at the women-led protests. The head of the Cultural Commission, Muhammad Jalal, said that these demonstrations were “a deliberate attempt to cause problems,” adding that “these people don’t even represent 0.1% of Afghanistan.”

The militant group are still involved in talks over forming a government, but have signaled women should stay at home, and, in some instances, militants have ordered women to leave their workplaces.