U.S. 'mother of all bombs' damaged houses in Kurram Agency

Posted April 18, 2017

The Afghan Defense Ministry said 36 militants were killed, though local officials and residents put the number much higher.

Afghan officials had earlier said the bombing had killed 36 ISIS jihadists.

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 bomb also destroyed three underground tunnels, weapons and ammunition.

The 30-foot-long GPS-guided "smart bomb", developed during the second Gulf War in 2003, has enough destructive force to wipe out an area roughly the size of nine city blocks.

Isis has claimed that the so-called "mother of all bombs" dropped by United States forces on a mountain hideout in Afghanistan did not kill any militants.

President Donald Trump said this week he would be sending his new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, to Afghanistan "to find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies".

"This was the right weapon against the right target", Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr., commander for US forces in Afghanistan, said Friday at a news conference.

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The office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the operation was not a surprise, and that it had been closely coordinated with the Afghan security forces.

"This is the right weapon for the right target", said U.S. Gen. John W. Nicholson, NATO commander in Afghanistan, at a news conference.

But former President Hamid Karzai accused the United States of using Afghanistan as "a testing ground for new and unsafe weapons".

White House officials won't detail precisely when that visit will take place but say it will come "soon".

But the US military brought out the biggest conventional bomb in its arsenal for the first time to hit the Islamic State group, which has a far smaller, but growing presence in Afghanistan - an apparent reflection of President Donald Trump's vows for a more no-holds-barred campaign against the group. The bomb used in the strike is claimed to be the biggest-ever non-nuclear bomb.

The assault came only a week after Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

A local resident living around two kilometers (1.5 miles) from the blast told CNN he heard an "extremely loud boom that smashed the windows of our house". It's the term militants use for the area they want to fully control in that region, composed of former members of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. No civilians were affected by the explosion, the ministry said. According to Afghan officials, the attack was able to decimate a deep tunnel of ISIS group.