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

Mother of all Bombs: What is it all about?


US President Donald Trump had earlier called the mission "very, very successful".

The GBU-43B massive ordnance air blast (MOAB), which contains 11 tonnes of explosives, was used for the first time to destroy IS caves and ammunition caches. The target was close to the Pakistani border.

The claims have not been independently verified, but ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in the massive blast that targeted a network of caves and tunnels.

USA army general John Nicholson, the commander of American forces in the country, said IS - also known as ISIS-K in Afghanistan - were using improvised bombs, bunkers and tunnels to "thicken their defence", so the massive bomb was a necessary response.

According to USA officials, most of the members of the local Islamic State branch are Pakistani and Uzbek militants.

It was the third major military action his administration took in recent months, following a military raid in Yemen that left some civilians and a US Marine dead, and last week's surprise strike on a Syrian airfield.

The site where the "mother of all bombs" was dropped on an ISIS complex in Afghanistan.

Locals told CNN that more than 3,000 families had fled the district in the past year or so since the militant group established its presence. "Assessment of the casualties to the ISIS-K is in process", the Afghan Presidential Palace said in a statement. "And with the maximum amount of caution so that we don't cause civilian casualties".

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The statement said Afghan forces will continue to fight against the terrorist groups in close coordination with USA forces in the country.

The area is extremely remote and mountainous, inaccessible to government forces.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February, General John Nicholson warned of a stalemate in the country.

The Taliban "control or contest" about a third of the population of the country, Bergen said, citing senior U.S. military officials. This munition was developed during the Iraq War.

In a message distributed on the instant messaging app Viber, the Taliban said the United States had "no justification" for using such a powerful bomb during combat operations, calling it a "show" by USA forces to persuade the world it is battling the Islamic State.

A journalist from Afghanistan also condemned the bombing in a series of tweets.

"The Secretary General and I had a productive discussion about what more North Atlantic Treaty Organisation can do in the fight against terrorism", Trump said.

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