Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

Evrard Martin
Avril 16, 2017

Achin district governor Ismail Shinwary told the BBC that Afghan special forces had begun operations in the area 13 days ago, with the help of US air support.

The powerful "Mother of All Bombs" U.S. forces dropped Thursday on an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan was tested eight years ago for blast characterization at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in northeastern Kern County.

Afghan officials said on Saturday (15 April) that the US "Mother of all Bombs" (MOAB) dropped on an Isis base in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province has killed more than 90 militants.

Current President Ashraf Ghani's office said on Friday that there was "close co-ordination" between the United States military and the Afghan government on the operation, and they were careful to prevent any civilian casualties.

The massive MOAB bomb was dropped from an MC-130 aircraft, using a parachute to drag it out of the cargo bay.

Nicholson also said it was "the right time to use the GBU-43 tactically".

At least 82 militants of IS group had been killed following the raid that also destroyed a big IS hideout along with several bunkers as well as 300-meter-long tunnels, according to Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman of the provincial government.

Earlier, Achin district's governor Esmail Shinwari said 92 IS fighters had been killed.

The US believes there are between 600 and 800 IS fighters in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. It is the third major military action his administration has taken in recent months, following a military raid in Yemen that left civilians and a U.S. Marine dead, and last week's surprise strike on a Syrian airfield.

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

A general view of Achin district, in Jalalabad, after USA forces dropped Thursday the bomb, Afghanistan, Friday, April 14, 2017.

Afghan officials say the death toll is likely to increase as USA and Afghan Security Forces continue their damage assessment and clear the formerly held ISIS territory.

Meanwhile, former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai was among the first to condemn the bombing.

Khogyani said that the latest death figure was received from Afghan military personnel involved in clearance operations and assessment of the site following the massive blast attack. A U.S. Marine was killed in that province last week amid ongoing counter-terrorism activities.

"Still, from a strategic standpoint, there is an unsettling takeaway here: The US pulled off a huge shock and awe mission against an enemy that isn't even the top threat to the US in Afghanistan".

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