Culture

Islamic State 'captures Osama Bin Laden's Tora Bora mountain hideout'

Islamic State 'captures Osama Bin Laden's Tora Bora mountain hideout'”

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group's offshoot in Afghanistan, ISIS Khurasan, claims the capture of Osama Bin Laden's hideout in the remote Tora Bora valley in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Control of Tora Bora would mark a significant victory in the rivalry with the Taliban and give the group a formidable new base.

"Some 1,000 ISIS militants were gathered close to Tora Bora, to capture the area", Ali said.

An Afghan security force member stands on a military vehicle during a military operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Tora Bora, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, June 16, 2017.

Khogyani says IS militants by Wednesday had managed to occupy some areas around Tora Bora, but not the bin Laden hideout itself.

While the United States estimates there are about 800 IS fighters in Afghanistan, mostly restricted to Nangarhar, other estimates say their ranks include thousands of battle-hardened Uzbek militants.

A Taliban spokesman disputed the claims in comments to the Associated Press, insisting that their forces still have control over the caves.

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However, Hazrat Ali, a lawmaker from Nangarhar confirmed that at least 12 Taliban fighters were killed in the battle with IS in Tora Bora.

Tora Bora in eastern Nangarhar province was the site of a major U.S. military offensive in late 2001, when Al-Qaeda chief bin Laden was believed to be hiding there.

More than 16 years after the USA invaded Afghanistan to end Taliban rule and flush out al-Qaida, the mountainous regions along the Afghan-Pakistani border are still home to an array of militant groups. They said they had seized much of the range and even established artillery posts on some peaks. "People and the local villagers are fleeing to other parts of the province", he added. Only a few months after the Sep. Many years later, an enterprising bin Laden flew in bulldozers and heavy machinery to build out a more robust cave network from the Saudi Binladin Group, one of the most successful construction firms in Saudi Arabia, according to the Times.

He later crossed into neighboring Pakistan, where he was killed in a U.S. raid in 2011. The US has concentrated on fighting them while also supporting Afghan forces against the Taliban.

The deployment in April of the USA military's so-called Mother Of All Bombs on another tunnel-and-cave complex in nearby Achin district killed dozens of armed radicals, but fighting in the area has continued unabated.



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