Monday, 29 May, 2017

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

Afghan commandos arrive at Pandola village near the site of a U.S. bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad east of Kabul Afghanistan on April 14. U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb
Howard Terry | 21 April, 2017, 00:18

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb was dropped by plane in Achin district on Thursday evening local time, the Pentagon said.

US Raids Surge Security experts say IS had built their redoubts close to civilian homes, but the government said thousands of local families had already fled the area in recent months of fighting.

Afghan officials on Saturday said that at least 90 ISIS militants have been killed till now in the attack. The top USA commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said it was an operational decision to support a joint U.S.

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

Achin is located in the foothills of the Spinghar mountain range that serves as a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But Gen. Daulat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense, said the death toll of 36 was likely to rise once Afghan forces had finished assessing the damage. "What it does is basically suck out all of the oxygen and lights the air on fire", said Bill Roggio, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to Military Times.

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

Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by United States planes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.

"The whole house was shaking", said Mufti Khan of Achin district in Nangarhar. That is the official count, while Afghan provincial governor's office spokesman Attaullah Khogyani asserts that the blast killed up to 82 militants, The New York Times reports.

The Islamic State (ISIS) was expected to deny any significant loss from the U.S. bombing on its base in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province on Thursday.

A number of Kabul residents however saw this as a positive step, saying they believe after this U.S Forces will step up efforts to fight insurgents.

"He's gotta come in and explain himself", Ms. Warren added in reference to Mr. Trump's strategy, Fox News reported Friday.

Trump called Thursday's operation a "very, very successful mission".

The US dropped the bomb in order to curb the rising threat of ISIS-K in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials say the death toll is likely to increase as USA and Afghan Security Forces continue their damage assessment and clear the formerly held ISIS territory. The attack was launched on Thursday after Afghan forces had tried repeatedly to capture the tunnels in fierce and prolonged fighting with ISIS militants in the province.

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