JALALABAD, Afghanistan, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Militants loyal to the hardliner Islamic State (IS) group have replaced Taliban fighters in many places of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province and overrun the outfit's main bastion Tora Bora hilltops recently.
The IS group surfaced in Achin district of the relatively troublesome province two years ago, and survived government forces' mounting pressures.
Following a fierce fighting, the IS group captured the strategically important Tora Bora mountain on Wednesday, forcing Taliban fighters to retreat from the area.
Tora Bora had served as the main base of al-Qaida network and the hideout of its ex-leader Osama Bin Laden until the collapse of Taliban regime in late 2001. Taliban captured the region after regrouping of its militants a couple of years ago.
The fall of Tora Bora to the IS insurgents, according to local observers, would prove a major blow to the Taliban militants and similarly a potential threat to the government forces in the eastern provinces.
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