Mother of all bombs kills only 36 Islamic State fighters

April 15, 2017
An Afghan commando stands guard at Pandola village, near the site of the US forces' bombing in Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday. US forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with "the mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said. (AP)
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP):

The attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military left 36 Islamic State group fighters dead and no civilian casualties, Afghanistan officials said yesterday.

The U.S. estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The U.S. has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban. President Donald Trump called Thursday's operation a "very, very successful mission."

The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that several IS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed by the giant bomb, which terrified villagers on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with its "earsplitting blast."

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives.

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