London [UK]: ISIS has captured some of the area surrounding Tora Bora, which is the former fortress of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
The capture of the giant cave-like complex, which until now been under Taliban control and once was the stronghold of late al-Qaida chief, comes as a major development and a big victory for the ISIS amid its increasingly deadly rivalry with the Afghan Taliban.
Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman in Nangarhar, said ISIS began its attacks in the mountain range on Tuesday night and the clashes continued into the day, with ISIS battling the Taliban in the area, reports the Guardian.
By Wednesday, ISIS seized some territory around Tora Bora – but not the bin Laden hideout itself, Khogyani said, adding that there were casualties on both sides.
“I can confirm that the Isis fighters occupied some areas around Tora Bora, but not Tora Bora itself,” said Khogyani,
Tora Bora was Bin Laden’s last hideout in Afghanistan, where he and his al-Qaida followers where hosted by the Taliban. It was only a few months after the September 11 2001 terror attacks, that Bin Laden escaped a US assault in Tora Bora, and managed to flee to Pakistan.
Bin Laden was killed in a US navy Seals raid in May 2011 in the army garrison town of Abbotabad in Pakistan. Many Pakistanis have felt that the raid violated their country’s sovereignty.
In April, the US used its biggest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped against ISIS in Nangarhar, targeting a tunnel carved in the mountains. (ANI)