USA

U.S. releases footage of 'mother of all bombs' being dropped

U.S. releases footage of 'mother of all bombs' being dropped

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was unleashed by U.S. in combat for the first time Thursday, hitting IS positions in a remote area of eastern Nangarhar province.

Local district chief Mohammad Ismail Shinwari said no civilian casualties were inflicted as civilians living in the area of the bombing had been evacuated by the Afghan military.

Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said on Saturday the number of Islamic State group dead was up from the 36 reported a day earlier.

"This weapon was used against Isis-K and their sanctuary inside Afghanistan", NATO forces commander General John Nicholson said., according to the AP.

The Pentagon on Thursday announced the use of the bomb, formally known as the GBU-43, or massive ordnance air blast (MOAB) bomb - the first time it has been utilized since its development in 2003.

The massive bomb terrified villagers 20 miles away across the border in Pakistan with a blast they described as earsplitting.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said 36 militants were killed, though local officials and residents put the number much higher. "What it does is basically suck out all of the oxygen and lights the air on fire", said Bill Roggio, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to Military Times.

Airstrike on Syrian town hit by chemical attack
McMaster pointed to dual US goals of defeating the Islamic State group and removing Assad from power. It prompted President Donald Trump to order a missile strike on an airfield held by the regime.

The president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani threw his support behind the bombing, emphasising the Americans had worked closely with his government to prevent any civilian casualties.

"If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare it to, really, what's happened over the last eight years, you'll see there's a tremendous difference, tremendous difference", Mr. Trump said.

Nicholson said the USA coordinated with the Afghan government on this operation.

Mufti Khan, a resident of Achin in Nangarhar, said: "The whole house was shaking".

The U.S. estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. USA forces say their number has been cut in half since early 2016 due to military operations. The US has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.

"Fortunately there is no report of civilians being killed in the attack", he added. The attack was launched on Thursday after Afghan forces had tried repeatedly to capture the tunnels in fierce and prolonged fighting with ISIS militants in the province.

"I vehemently and in strongest words condemn the dropping of the latest weapon, the largest non-nuclear #bomb, on Afghanistan by USA", he tweeted soon after reports of the bombing emerged.


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