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Afghan Forces Recapture Tora Bora Hideout From Islamic State

Afghanistan -- An Afghan security personnel sits in a humvee during the ongoing offensive to retake Tora Bora in Pachir Aw Agam district, in Nangarhar province, June 20, 2017

Afghan security forces have recaptured Tora Bora, a former fortress of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, from Islamic State militants, officials confirmed on June 20.

IS had taken the tunnel and cave complex in Nangarhar Province from the Taliban five days ago. The two militant groups are enemies. The complex of tunnels and caves once served as a hideout for bin Laden, who escaped from the mountains into Pakistan after U.S. bombings and subsequent operations in 2001 failed to kill or capture him.

The "Tora Bora area of Pachiragam district is completely Daesh free," the office of the governor of Nangarhar Province said, referring to the IS group by one of its Arabic acronyms. The recapture was confirmed by officials in Kabul, who said at least 22 militants were killed in the clearing operation.

Afghan security forces are now advancing toward the villages of Alif Khel and Meerkhany to push IS further back, the governor's office said.