US drops biggest non-nuclear bomb at ISIS targets in Afghanistan, says Pentagon

14 April 2017, 12:08 AM

The US military on Thursday dropped what is considered to be the largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.

 The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb hit a"tunnel complex" in Achin district in Nangarhar province, USForces Afghanistan said in a statement. The strike occurred at about 7:32 pm local time (1502GMT). Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said it was the first combat use of the weapon. 

The sources in US media dubbed it, saying that US drops the mother of all bombs. The bomb targeted tunnels used by ISIS fighters, target area bordered Pakistan.

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According to reports in Reuters, General John Nicholson, the head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, said the bomb was used against caves and bunkers housing fighters of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb.

A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.

The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, operated by the Air Force Special Operations Command, according to the military sources.

This is part of the ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan, the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) said.

The strike was designed to minimise the risk to Afghan and US Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximising the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities.

“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defence,” said General John W Nicholson, Commander, US Forces - Afghanistan.

“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K,?  Nicholson said.

The United States Central Command said US Forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties in the strike.

American forces will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed in Afghanistan, it said.

First Published: Thursday, April 13, 2017 10:43 PM
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