Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

Thursday's strike came as U.S. President Donald Trump dispatches his first high-level delegation to Kabul, amid uncertainty about his plans for the almost 9,000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan. A statement from the Ministry of Defence statement said several IS caves and ammunition caches were also destroyed.

The Afghan presidential palace said precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties.

The group has established a small stronghold in eastern Afghanistan and launched deadly attacks on the capital, Kabul.

The United States dropped a massive GBU-43 bomb, also known as the "mother of all bombs," in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday against a series of caves used by Islamic State militants.

Asked if he had authorised the use of the bomb Trump said: "Everybody knows exactly what happened, and what I do is I authorise my military".

The US has not yet confirmed the results of the strike in detail, but a local official told the BBC that many IS militants were killed, allegedly including the brother of a senior leader.

"Let me be clear - we will not relent in our mission to fight alongside our Afghan comrades to destroy ISIS K in 2017", he said, referring to the IS regional branch.

It is a concussive bomb, meaning it is created to detonate before it hits the ground.

On Friday, the village was swarming with Afghan and global troops, as helicopters and other aircraft flew overhead.

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Meanwhile Congressman Seth Moulton said that President Trump's focus should be bringing the troops home.

"Heavy casualties have been inflicted on the enemy", Murtazawi said on Facebook, ruling out the possibility of civilian casualties.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai however denounced the use of the weapon.

The 21,600-pound MOAB was developed in 2003 as a weapon to attack against elite Republican Guard units during the invasion of Iraq.

Read: What is the 'mother of all bombs, and what does it do?

The bomb was dropped in response to IS' increasing use of bunkers and tunnels to "thicken their defense", General John Nicholson, commander of USA forces in Afghanistan said. Its fighters have been engaged in a years-long insurgency against the government and global forces in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border area has tunnel complexes known to be used by ISIS and other terrorist groups operating in and out of Afghanistan.

A week ago, Navy Capt. Charge Salvin, a representative for USA constraints in Afghanistan, told the Associated Press that the Islamic State in Afghanistan had lost the greater part its domain and had 800 warriors spread between two territories.

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