USA drops 'mother of all bombs' on Islamic State in Afghanistan

Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S., Hamdullah Mohib, said the bomb was dropped after fighting had intensified over the last week.

The attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the us military left 36 Islamic State group fighters dead and no civilian casualties, Afghanistan officials said Friday.

The claims have not been independently verified but ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in Thursday's massive blast that targeted a network of cave sand tunnels.

Officials at the Afghan Defence Ministry said they were first alerted to Thursday's bomb through media reports.

US officials say intelligence suggests Islamic State is based overwhelmingly in Nangarhar and neighboring Kunar province.

Achin District Governor Esmail Shinwari said: "The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen". "We are escalating in an area I think we should be deescalating in", California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier told CNN.

Afghan official said that 36 Islamic State group terrorists have been reportedly killed in the air strike.

GBU-43 bomb, which has 11 tons of explosives, was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

According to the report, four USA military officials with direct knowledge of the mission said a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday.

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Reaction is pouring in across Massachusetts Thursday after the US dropped the "mother of all bombs" on an ISIS target in Afghanistan.

US Forces Afghanistan said the bomb was dropped at 7.32pm Thursday (3.02am Friday NZ time).

On Twitter, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani approved of the strike, saying it was "designed to support the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and U.S. forces. conducting clearance operations in the region". 'As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense, ' said General John Nicholson, commander, US Forces- Afghanistan.

"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against Isis-K", he added, using the United States military's acronym for the IS affiliate.

Another militant source told AFP that 800 to 1,000 IS fighters were believed to be hiding in the area.

Trump also compared his military successes to those of his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Afterward, Trump declined to say whether he personally signed off on the strike, but noted, "Everybody knows exactly what happens".

The show of force was a signal to United States enemies including Syria, North Korea and Iran that the White House is prepared to take actions from which previous administrations refrained. He discussed the issue of North Korea with Chinese President Xi Jinping during Xi's recent visit to Trump's resort in Florida.

  • Adam Floyd