Hawzah News Agency (Kabul, Afghanistan) - Acting Afghan Defense Minister General Tariq Shah Bahrami said on Saturday that the Afghan military had recaptured the area in the eastern province of Nangarhar after fierce clashes with Daesh in cave and tunnel complexes.
The terrorists had taken control of Tora Bora on Thursday, after days of fighting with rival Taliban militants. The area has been a major stronghold of Taliban and has been used by militants to transfer weapons and arms across the border with Pakistan.
Bahrami said during the army operation to retake Tora Bora some 22 Daesh militants were killed, adding that 10 others were also wounded in the clearance mission. He would not elaborate on potential military casualties.
Daesh, a group mainly based in Iraq and Syria, has gained a foothold in eastern Afghan territories mainly due to a lack of security and growing infighting between Taliban factions. The group has sought to establish a branch under the title of Khorasan province in the Afghan territories. It has carried out several high-profile attacks on civilians and security forces, including a recent bombing in the diplomatic zone of the Afghan capital, Kabul, which killed more than 150 people.
The rise of Daesh has prompted Afghan officials to ask for increased military assistance from the United States, which still holds a massive military presence in the country more than 15 years after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which toppled Taliban.
In his Saturday statement, Bahrami welcomed a decision by Washington to send an additional 4,000 US troops to Afghanistan. He said the move was in consultation with the Afghan government and that the troops would mainly engage in training and advisory mission in the country.