Death toll from 'Mother Of All Bombs' climbs to 94

Posted April 18, 2017

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

"The area was what they call a civilian-free zone, so they could really go in and use a big, indiscriminate weapon, which, God forbid, if you dropped it in a place like Raqqa [Islamic State's headquarters in Syria], you would have lots of civilian deaths", said Brian G. Williams, author of Counter Jihad: America's Military Experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Afghan officials had earlier said the bombing had killed 36 IS fighters, adding that there there were "no military and civilian casualties at all". Footage put out by the Pentagon showed the bomb slamming into a mountainside overlooking a river valley, causing a giant blast that overwhelms the landscape then sends up a massive column of black smoke.

"This was the right weapon against the right target", Nicholson said at his presser, adding "the weapon used, the GBU-43, is created to destroy caves and tunnels". "The strike has destroyed an IS headquarters, three IS hideouts along with several bunkers and deep tunnels as well as huge amount of weapons and ammunition", the Afghanistan Defence Ministry statement said. He said a clearance operation to assess the site of the attack was continuing.

In Achin village, about 5 kilometres from the remote, mountainous area where the bomb was dropped, witnesses said the ground shook, but homes and shops appeared unaffected.

A GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast (MOAB) weapon.

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Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by USA warplanes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.

"The number of Daesh fighters killed in the United States bomb in Achin district jumped to 94, including four commanders", Nangarhar provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogiani told CNN, using an alternative name for ISIS.

USA forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with "the mother of all bombs", the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the us military, Pentagon officials said.

The most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever used by the USA in combat was dropped on IS tunnels in Nangarhar province.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Saturday criticized both the Afghan and USA governments for the attack in Nangarhar. "Assessment of the casualties to the ISIS-K is in process", the Afghan Presidential Palace said in a statement.

The United States, as part of its counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, has been helping Afghan forces battle the local ISIS branch known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province since previous year. Nor is Daesh a political threat of the magnitude that Taliban, militarily and diplomatically nurtured by Pakistan, once was to Kabul and to USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military forces in Afghanistan, although ISIS is said to have grown.