Massive US bomb dead toll rise to 94

An Afghan official said Saturday that the death toll in the wake of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb dropped by the US military has risen to at least 94, CNN reported.

A Ministry of Defence official said on Friday that the number of dead could rise as officials assessed the bomb site in Achin district.

General John Nicholson, the top United States commander in Afghanistan, said: 'The enemy had created bunkers, tunnels and extensive mine fields, and this weapon was used to reduce those obstacles so that we could continue our offensive in Nangarhar'.

A U.S. official who monitored the recent attack which saw one of the biggest conventional bombs ever to be used in combat - said it was impossible to determine how many fighters might be buried underground.

The massive bomb was deployed after fighting intensified over the past week and USA -backed ground forces struggled to advance on the area, where a US special forces soldier was killed on April 8.

The Pentagon confirmed the GBU-43, known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" (MOAB), was dropped on caves in Nangarhar Province, very close to the border with Pakistan.

The provincial government of Nangarhar province in the east of the country where this bomb was dropped, said on Saturday that the latest estimates suggest that the damage inflicted upon the militants is much more than initially believed. The US has more than 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counter-terrorism operations.

"It was a strong position and four times we had operations (attacking the site) and it was not possible to advance", he said".

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Saturday criticized both the Afghan and US governments for the attack in Nangarhar.

One resident living around 2 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the blast told CNN he heard an "extremely loud boom that smashed the windows of our house".

"At least 92 Daesh terrorists were killed in the bombing", Achin district governor Esmail Shinwari told Agence France Presse on Saturday, referring to the militant group with its Islamic acronym.

Those in favor of the attack said the MOAB was the only way to dismantle the cave complex, landmines and tunnels.

  • Leroy Wright