KABUL -- "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) fighters have captured Tora Bora, a mountain cave complex in eastern Afghanistan that was once the hideout of Osama bin Laden, officials said Thursday (June 15).
The militants seized the territory from the Taliban this week after days of heavy fighting.
"Tora Bora has fallen into the hands of ISIS fighters," government spokesman Ataullah Khogyani told AFP. "Afghan troops last night launched an operation to take it back from ISIS."
Tora Bora in Nangarhar Province was the site of a major coalition offensive in late 2001, when al-Qaeda chief bin Laden was believed to be hiding there.
He later crossed into neighbouring Pakistan, where he was killed in 2011.
Local tribesmen confirmed to AFP that the Taliban had retreated from large parts of Tora Bora.
"When Daesh [ISIS] fighters launched their operation to seize Tora Bora, the Taliban fled the area and left us alone to protect our women and children," said Juma Khan, a tribesman who fled the area with hundreds of other local families.