ISIS death toll from United States 'mother of all bombs' climbs to 94

Nick Mcbride
April 15, 2017

The death toll from the American military's 11-ton and largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat almost tripled Saturday, with Afghan officials saying at least 90 ISIS jihadists were killed, as US-led forces conducted clean-up operations over the rugged terrain.

"ISIL fighters have suffered severe losses", Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, told Al Jazeera, adding that Afghan and United States forces were conducting clean-up operations in the site of the massive blast.

"It was a strong position and four times we had operations (attacking the site) and it was not possible to advance", he said".

Addressing a press conference in Kabul yesterday, he said the weapon used, the GBU-43, was created to destroy caves and tunnels and that this had been the "right weapons against the right target".

Inamullah Meyakhil, spokesman for the central hospital in eastern Nangarhar province, said the facility had received no dead or wounded from the attack.

Some in Pakistan said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village.

Shinwari said that there were "no military and civilian casualties" in the incident.

"I was sleeping when we heard a loud explosion - it was an ear-splitting blast", said Shah Wali (46) who lives in nine miles from the border with Nangarhar.

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There had been heavy fighting in the area in recent weeks between Afghan forces and IS militants. The US has more than 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counter-terrorism operations.

Nicholson said he was in constant communication with officials in Washington, but the decision to use the 9797kg GBU-43 bomb was based on his assessment of military needs and not broader political considerations.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he approved of the strike, and it was created to support Afghan and USA forces conducting clearance operations in the region. President Trump called the operation "very, very successful mission".

The US dropped the bomb in order to curb the rising threat of ISIS-K in Afghanistan. "The Taliban continues to sit pretty".

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

Over the past year they have concentrated on a surge of Taliban attacks, but on Friday the U.S. military appeared focused on IS.

"Using this massive bomb can not be justified and will leave a material and psychological impact on our people", the armed group said in a statement.

According to the US Air Force, a MOAB costs about $170,000 to build.

Other reports by VgToday

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