Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 14, 2017,
Apr 14, 2017, 13:52
The 21,000 pound device was dropped on an Islamic State tunnel complex.
An Afghan commando stands guard at Pandola village, near the site of the US forces' bombing in Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, April 14, 2017.
In its second major display of military might in one week, the USA dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS positions in a remote part of Afghanistan. The cost of a single MOAB is $16 million.
A statement from the Ministry of Defence statement said several IS caves and ammunition caches were also destroyed.
For the first time ever the "mother of all bombs" was used by the USA military in combat, CNN's Barbara Starr reports.
Afghanistan officials said there were no civilian casualties from the attack.
Inamullah Meyakhil, spokesman for the central hospital in eastern Nangarhar province, said the facility had received no dead or wounded from the attack.
The GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, also known as MOAB and dubbed the "mother of all bombs", destroyed three underground tunnels but did not hurt any civilians, CNN reported.
The US estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar.
President Trump told media Thursday afternoon that "this was another successful mission" and he gave the military total authorization.
Professor Michael Clarke, a senior associate fellow at defence think tank the Royal United Services Institute, said the use of the weapon would have gone to the White House for approval but was likely to have been a decision made by the local commander.
The region the MOAB struck butts up against the porous Pakistan border. "Bombing was carried out in coordination with Afghanistan", the Afghan government said.
Multiple Afghan officials previously told CNN they had no information about the bombing before it happened.
He said civilians would have been "impacted in terms of feeling the tremor" of the weapon.
"It may not have been initiated by President Trump, but nevertheless he is obviously happy to take credit for it and he is happy that it fits into his broader sense that he wants to be militarily credible", he said.