Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Tora Bora Falls To Daesh After Heavy Clashes With Taliban

Tora Bora Falls To Daesh After Heavy Clashes With Taliban

The Islamic State group captured part of Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountainous region, known for having been Osama Bin Laden's hiding place after the 9/11 attacks, said a regional government spokesman.

IS released an audio recording saying its signature black flag is flying over the hulking mountain range. The message was broadcast on the militants' Radio Khilafat station in the Pashto language.

It also says IS has taken over several districts and urged villagers who fled the fighting to return to their homes and stay indoors.

Ali has extensive experience fighting against al-Qaida in the area but has also been accused of having helped bin Laden escape from Tora Bora in December 2001, reportedly betraying his us and Afghan allies as they closed in on the al-Qaida leadership. Indeed, the Taliban and other militant groups, such as the Haqqani Network and ISIS, have recaptured much ground lost during President Obama's short-lived troop surge, which began in 2010 and saw troops exiting within 18 months of their arrival.

"We are in Tora Bora but this is not the end", said Khorasani.

Mujahid claimed that more than 30 IS fighters were killed in battle.

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Provincial Council members have accused government of negligence which led to the fall of Tora Bora.

The official further added that the militants of the terror group reached Tora Bora via Khogyani district but rejected the claims by ISIS that the area has fallen to its fighters control. "Is this government here to kill us?" asked MP Hazrat Ali.

"Our Mujahideen yesterday (Wednesday) attacked to push them (the IS) back, but the Americans bombed our Mujahideen and for now our operation has been halted in the area", he said. "The Taliban escaped from the area last night and left us to ISIS with our women and children", said Juma Gul, a tribal elder from the Suleymankhel Valley, close to Tora Bora, who said he was among hundreds of families who fled the area after the Islamic State took over.

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.

Meanwhile, the Takiri group has said it plans to extend the territory under its control in Afghanistan.

Islamic States' attack near Tora Bora comes two months after the U.S. 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.

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