As many as 36 terrorists were killed when the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State dens in Achin district of east Nangarhar province on April 13, said Afghan government officials on April 14.
Known as the GBU-43, the 22,000-pound bomb, was the “right munition” to use against IS terrorists as they mostly used roadside bombs, bunkers and tunnels, according to General Nicholson, commander US Army in Afghanistan.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb was used against caves and bunkers housing fighters of the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan, he added.
Many IS hideouts, including many caves, and one its deep tunnel complex were also destroyed by the GBU-43, a 10-tonne missile, powered by a wave of air pressure. Weapons and ammunition were also destroyed during the bombing.
Afghan Defense Ministry officials said they first got to know of the bomb attack through media reports. “We have nothing officially on this so far, but the goal is to decimate Daesh in Afghanistan,” said ministry spokesperson Mohammad Radmanesh.
It may be mentioned here that the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US non-nuclear arsenal is 30,000 pound GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, which rips through heavily fortified bunker complexes.
The bomb had a blast yield of 11 tonne of TNT. The US military had originally designed the bomb to intimidate foes as to clear broad areas. Also, it was the first time the Pentagon has used this size of a bomb in a conflict.
Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, police spokesperson, said he was not aware of the incident, which the US said took place at 7:30 p.m. local time.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump has earned plaudits from US lawmakers for the mission. Precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties, said Afghan presidential palace.
This is the second high-profile attack by the US in a week. On April 6, it attacked a Syrian airfield in retaliation to a chemical attack by President Bashar Assad.
Achin district is a stronghold of the local IS, which the US says is made up of Pakistani and Uzbek militants. The group has struggled to expand beyond the district.