Isil claims to have captured Osama bin Laden's former hideout in Afghanistan
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 20:23
Tora Bora is where former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden hid in 2001 after the U.S started it's mission in Afghanistan. The message was broadcast on the militants' Radio Khilafat station in the Pashto language.
It appears as though the attack was eventually repelled, but officials said land surrounding the cave network had been taken by Isis.
Isis have come under attack from numerous fronts in recent months - notably in the de-facto capital of their caliphate, Raqqa, which is being subjected to a siege by the Syrian Democratic Forces. They could not confirm who was in control of the area.
A Taliban spokesman denied ISIS was in control, claiming instead that the Taliban had pushed ISIS back from some territory the rival militants had taken in the area.
The US had then dropped the powerful GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast device, dubbed the "mother of all bombs", to wipe out a cave and bunker complex, killing around a hundred IS fighters and commanders.
An official with the USA military command in Kabul said Islamic State forces are "on the run" and "are attempting to take refuge" in the Tora Bora region."No matter where they are, there is no safe haven for them in Afghanistan", the official said in a statement. 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 told the Times.
"ISIS has captured Tora Bora and areas around it", an Afghan police official said.
Government forces have launched new operations targeting ISIS, but more fighters are being recruited or crossing the border from Pakistan, said Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor's office.
Mujahid also accused the US of carrying out airstrikes in support of ISIS.
While the United States estimates there are about 800 IS fighters in Afghanistan, mostly restricted to Nangarhar, other estimates say their ranks also include thousands of battle-hardened Uzbek militants.
Last week Russian Federation announced it was reinforcing two of its bases in Central Asia, in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, with its newest weapons because of fears of a "spill-over of terrorist activities from Afghanistan" by the Afghan ISIS affiliate.