ISIS claims it's captured Osama bin Laden's Afghan hideout

  • ISIS claims it's captured Osama bin Laden's Afghan hideout

ISIS claims it's captured Osama bin Laden's Afghan hideout

Afghanistan's IS affiliate and the larger and more well-established Taliban are both committed to overthrowing the USA -backed government, but they are bitterly divided over leadership, ideology and tactics, and have fought often.

However, Taliban fighters have denied the death cult had pushed them out - claiming to have defeated the attack, but admitting the death cult have seized nearby villages. The complex, called Tora Bora, still has strategic and symbolic importance. "We will continue toward our goal of defeating ISIS-K in Afghanistan this year and ending their barbaric campaign of death, torture and violence against the Afghan people".

The Afghan forces' offensive will continue toward Tora Bora, Waziri said on Thursday, adding that if the Afghans "need air support from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, they are ready to help us". But he said Afghan forces engaged IS militants in the Chapahar district of eastern Nagarhar province, killing five and pushing them out of the area.

The group's loyalists informed regarding the capture of the mountainous terrain, a claim which has been rejected by the Afghan officials. "No one has advanced in the area".

Mujahid also accused the USA of carrying out airstrikes in support of ISIS.

Meanwhile, Bahrami, a spokesman for Defense Ministry told reporters on Saturday that 23 IS fighters had been killed over the past 72 hours and the troops would soon regain the control of Tora Bora. The fall of Tora Bora to the IS insurgents, according to local observers, would prove a major blow to the Taliban militants and similarly a potential threat to the government forces in the eastern provinces. "ISIS has a stronghold and will capture these areas one after another", he said.

Inside the mountains lies a vast network of caves in which al-Qaida militants led by bin Laden hid from USA coalition forces in 2001, following 9/11.

Many Taliban commanders, according to the observer, have changed their loyalty and joined the IS rank to help the group expand its territory. Malak Tor, a tribal elder from Pachir Agam district, where Tora Bora is situated, complained that residents' demands that the government mount an offensive to protect Tora Bora were ignored. "Now they will find financial resources for themselves, and then it will be very hard to push them out of Tora Bora", Tor said.

ISIS began their assault on Tora Bora late Tuesday, Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman in Nangarhar, told The Guardian, and had taken many areas around it.

Information for this article was contributed by Khalid Alokozay of The New York Times.