More than 150 Islamic State fighters surrendered in Afghanistan on Wednesday, Afghan officials said, a move which they and the Taliban hailed as the end of the extremist group in the north of the country.
NATO urged caution, saying it was premature to write the group off in the region.
The surrender came after weeks of intense fighting between IS and the Taliban in Jowzjan province in the north, and continuing pressure from Afghan and US forces.
It also came as the Afghan army took over security in the eastern city of Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province which is an IS stronghold, after a wave of attacks mostly claimed by the group.
In Jowzjan, Afghan officials described the surrender as a turning point.
"Their fighters have surrendered in the past, but this time it is more important because the Daesh leader and deputy surrendered with more than 150 fighters all at once," Mohammad Hanif Rezaee, spokesman for the army's 209 Corps in the north, told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
Rezaee said 30 women and children had also handed themselves in to Afghan authorities.
"With this, the Daesh chapter is going to be closed in the north," he added.
However NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan warned it was "premature" to conclude that this degradation of IS "equates to its collapse in the north of the country".
IS has a relatively small but potent presence in Afghanistan, mainly in the eastern province of Nangarhar but more recently in Jowzjan.
The group has fought turf wars with the much larger Taliban since emerging in Afghanistan in 2014. Estimates of their numbers in the country run as high as around 2,000.
Until a few weeks ago there had been around 500 IS fighters in the Darzab and Qush Tepa districts of Jowzjan, provincial governor Lutfullah Azizi has said.
But the Taliban stepped up fighting with the group there after an IS attack on their fighters last month killed at least 15 people, Azizi said.
The Taliban took credit for the surrender announced by Afghan officials on Wednesday, saying it had "cleared" the north of IS fighters.
It claimed it had captured 130, wounded more than 100 and killed 153.
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