What is the 'Mother of All Bombs'?

The number of militants killed after the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the USA military was dropped in Afghanistan has risen to 94.

The strike using the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, was carried out Thursday morning against an Islamic State group tunnel complex carved in the mountains that Afghan forces have tried to assault repeatedly in recent weeks in fierce fighting in Nangarhar province, Afghan officials said.

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

Afghan forces were fighting to secure the remains of an Isis camp in Nangarhar province yesterday after it was hit by the biggest non-nuclear bomb the United States military has ever dropped.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, the largest ever non-nuclear bomb to be used in warfare, was dropped on Thursday (13 April) in Nangarhar province.

"Destroying few notorious cave networks along with dozens of terrorists to save ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) personnel by dropping a MOAB (mother of all bombs) was a wise tactical decision", Saleh, a former Afghan spy chief, said in a Twitter post.

"This was the right weapon against the right target".

The US military previously estimated ISIS had 600 to 800 active fighters in the area but was unclear whether it had hoped to strike more.

No civilian casualties were reported following Thursday's massive USA bombing against an Islamic State (IS) position in Afghanistan, the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander said on Friday.

Addressing the Afghan public, Nicholson said all precautions were taken to prevent civilian casualties.

Far from its base in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State announced its presence in Afghanistan in early 2015 but has not been able to expand beyond a few districts in the eastern province of Nangarhar, along a rugged, porous stretch of the Pakistani border.

The bomb, owing to its massive size and weight, is dropped from a C-130 cargo aircraft, specifically the MC-130 Talon operated by the US Air Force Special Operations Command.

Gen Daulat Waziri, of the Afghanistan Ministry of Defence, said the bombing was necessary because the tunnel complex was hard to penetrate.

The region butts up against the porous Pakistan border.

Donald Trump said the action was "very, very successful", but some analysts have criticised it as "disproportionate".

The Site Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist organizations, reported Friday on a statement from the Afghan Taliban condemning the USA for its "terrorist" attack. "They are not only killing our people but destroying the environment and disrespecting our honor", Karzai told a gathering in Kabul.

  • Leroy Wright