ISIL death toll hits 90 from huge United States bomb in Afghanistan

The largest non-nuclear bomb ever used by the US military killed dozens of ISIS militants in a strike on a network of tunnels in Afghanistan, according to the Afghan defense ministry.

According to Indian intelligence officials, Murshid Mohammed, in his 20s, from Kasaragode, Kerala, was among the ISIS militants killed after the US military struck ISIS' position in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border April 13 with a massive 10-ton missile-powered bomb.

Earlier on Friday, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesperson said that at least 36 militants of Daesh terrorist group, banned in Russian Federation and a range of other countries, were killed in the US MOAB bomb attack.

Maj. Sherin Aqa, head of public affairs for the 201st Corps in eastern Nangarhar province, where the GBU-43B was detonated, said ISIS commanders are among the dead.

The bomb destroyed three underground tunnels, weapons and ammunition, but no civilians were hurt, CNN reported, citing US and Afghan officials.

Footage released by the U.S. shows the bomb's devastating power.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hailed the attack on the ISIS position.

"Previous year a drone strike targeted a house next to mine, but this time it felt like the heavens were falling", he explained. Pentagon officials said that the bombing targeted a series of tunnels used by ISIS militants.

Shinwari said that American and Afghan ground forces were slowly advancing on the mountainous area, which is blanketed with landmines, to clear the site, but there were still some pockets of resistance from insurgents.

However, former Afghan president Hamiz Karzai condemned the attack, saying that the United States was using their soil to test weapons.

"It was the right time to use it tactically, against the right target on the battlefield", he said.

The Afghan and US militaries coordinated for the operation, the president of Afghanistan's office reportedly said.

An Afghan resident living about a mile from where the bomb fell told CNN he heard an "extremely loud boom that smashed the windows of our house". I will say this: "I think China has really been working very hard", he said.

"I talked to my family members over the phone last night and they said there had been shelling", said labourer Safdar Shinwari.

ISIS established its branch in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region in January 2015, less than a month after former President Barack Obama declared an end to the USA combat mission in Afghanistan. "It was an earsplitting blast", said Shah Wali, 46, who lives in the village of Goor Gari, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Nangarhar.

  • Joanne Flowers