Air Blast Bomb known as “the mother of all bombs” has been dropped in Afghanistan by the United States Military
The US military says it has dropped the most destructive non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on an Islamic State group tunnel complex in Afghanistan.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), known as “the mother of all bombs”, was first tested in 2003, but had not been used before.
The Pentagon said it was dropped from a US aircraft in Nangarhar province, BBC reports.
The news came hours after the Pentagon admitted an air strike in Syria mistakenly killed 18 rebels.
It said a partnered force had mistakenly identified the target location as an IS position, but the strike on 11 April had killed rebels from the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is backed by Washington.
‘Many Militants Killed’
The strike in Afghanistan follows last week’s death of a US special forces soldier fighting IS in Nangarhar.
The 21,600lb (9,800kg) bomb was dropped in Achin district on Thursday evening local time, the Pentagon said. It is more than 9m (30 feet) in length.
“We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters use to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, using another name for IS.
He said necessary precautions were taken to prevent civilian casualties and “collateral damage”.
The area where the bomb was dropped is mostly mountainous and sparsely populated, BBC correspondents say. Local sources said the explosion was so powerful it was heard in two neighbouring districts.
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.
US President Donald Trump called it “another successful job”.