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IS claims it’s taken bin Laden’s Afghan hideout of Tora Bora

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By Associated Press

The Islamic State group is claiming its fighters have captured Osama bin Laden’s infamous Tora Bora mountain hideout in eastern Afghanistan.

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 late on Wednesday.

FILE -An Afghan farmer works on his field, on the outskirts of the village of Madakhel in northeastern Afghanistan, near the mountain region of Tora Bora which is seen in the background. An Afghan official says Islamic State fighters have captured some territory around Tora Bora, the former stronghold of Osama bin Laden in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. (AP Photo/Enric Marti,|MANILA BULLETIN

FILE -An Afghan farmer works on his field, on the outskirts of the village of Madakhel in northeastern Afghanistan, near the mountain region of Tora Bora which is seen in the background. An Afghan official says Islamic State fighters have captured some territory around Tora Bora, the former stronghold of Osama bin Laden in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. (AP Photo|Enric Marti|MANILA BULLETIN)

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

The Tora Bora mountains hide a warren of caves in which al-Qaeda militants led by bin Laden hid from U.S. coalition forces in 2001, after the Taliban fled Kabul.

Afghan officials earlier said fighting between IS and the Taliban, who controlled Tora Bora, began on Tuesday but couldn’t confirm its capture.

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