Video shared on social media shows a crowd at the Kabul airport look on Tuesday while a woman is helped over a wall by American soldiers.
A journalist working for the Rise to Peace nonprofit organization captured the moment. In another clip shared by the group, a U.S. soldier lifted a girl over the wall.
Afghans have flocked to the airport this week, desperate to flee after the Taliban seized control of Kabul.
The militant group has promised a more moderate rule than when it controlled the country 20 years ago without a parliament or elections, leading to a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.
They banned women from attending school or work or leaving home without burqas. They also cut off the hands of thieves, stoned perceived adulterers and persecuted — and sometimes massacred — ethnic minorities.
Afghans now are leery of what the Taliban are calling a new era. And the Taliban's assurance of a "safe passage" to the Kabul airport has been contradicted by reports of violence and graphic images, including one showing a woman and a child with blood on their faces, apparently unconscious.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Tuesday that officials have received reports of people being turned away, pushed back or even beaten as they try to get access to the airport.
The militants are urging anyone who does not have the proper documentation to leave the area.
The Guardian reported that they were forcibly turning some people around at checkpoints, refusing to let them reach the airport at all.
The Taliban said that 12 people have been killed in and around the airport either by gunfire or in stampedes since they seized control on Sunday, according to Reuters. NBC News has not verified the number of dead.
The U.S. Embassy has been operating out of the facility, coordinating evacuations.
Other countries are also scrambling to get their citizens out of the country. Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag said Tuesday that evacuation efforts were unsuccessful because the chaos outside the airport made it impossible to get eligible people on a plane, Reuters reported.