Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

Gen John Nicholson said the most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever used by the USA in combat had been the right weapon to target a suspected Islamic State (IS) base in Nangarhar province.

U.S. army general John Nicholson, the commander of American forces in the country, said IS were using bombs, bunkers and tunnels to "thicken their defence".

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

Shinwari insisted there were "no military and civilian casualties at all".

The unprecedented attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a militant group that is not considered a threat as big as the resurgent Taliban.

"This was the right weapon against the right target", Gen. John Nicholson, commander for US forces in Afghanistan, said at a news conference. The strike caused a giant explosion that destroyed the landscape and created a massive column of black smoke.

"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K", US General John Nicholson said in a statement after the bombing.

Currently, there have been no reported civilian deaths resulting from the bombing.

Kean believes while the main reason the MOAB was used was to avoid US infantry casualties, the payoff is that it shows Russia, Syria, North Korea and the world President Trump will not hesitate to take action when needed. The U.S. has concentrated heavily on combatting them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban. It said they were careful to prevent any civilian casualties.

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Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri has said that initial analysis estimates that the explosion killed 36 ISIS militants. According to him, the bombing was necessary because some of the tunnels were as deep as 40 meters and extremely hard to penetrate.

IS fighters in the tunnels had "come from Pakistan and were persecuting people in the local area", he added.

The US coordinated the attack with Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.

Another Achin resident, Mohammad Hakim, voiced his approval for the strike, saying "We are very happy and these kinds of bombs should be used in future as well, so Daesh is rooted out from here", using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

The Trump administration's policy towards Afghanistan remains under consideration but the use of this weapon sends a powerful signal that IS is top of the administration's target list wherever its offshoots may be found.

The U.S. has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

The president praised the deployment of the MOAB as a successful mission for the USA military.

Maj. Sherin Aqa, head of public affairs for the 201st Corps in eastern Nangarhar province, where the GBU-43B was detonated, said ISIS commanders are among the dead.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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