Islamic State captures territory around Tora Bora, near bin Laden's former stronghold
The mountains of Tora Bora. Image source: Wikimedia commons via Jnordmar. Photograph: (Others)
Islamic State (IS) have captured territory around Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden's former stronghold located in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, The Guardian reports Afghan officials as saying.
If IS can capture the giant cave complex, where bin Laden formerly stayed, from the Afghan Taliban, it would be a large victory for the militants.
The IS militant group captured parts of the remote mountainous area of Tora Bora region on Tuesday night from the Taliban. WION's Daniel Pagani reports from Kabul (WION)
This comes one day after Trump's defense chief, General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis, described the situation in Afghanistan in blunt and negative terms: "We are not winning." Trump will now allow the Pentagon to set troop levels in Afghanistan, and a contingent of a few thousand American soldiers are expected to arrive.
Attacks in the mountain range began late Tuesday night, according to a spokesman in Nangarhar, Attahullah Khgyani, cited by The Guardian. There have been unspecified casualties on both sides.
They also cite Hazrat Ali, a Nangarharian lawmaker, as saying that 12 Taliban fighters were killed in the clash. "Based on our information from local people, hundreds of Isis fighters attacked Taliban militants in Tora Bora."
So far there has been no official comment from IS or the Taliban.
Islamic States' attack near Tora Bora comes two months after the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in the world, known as the MOAB or Mother Of All Bombs, on a cave complex in eastern Afghanistan, reportedly killing at least 36 IS militants.