As many as 36 suspected militants of Islamic State were killed in the Afghanistan when US military dropped “mother of all bombs”, its largest non-nuclear bomb, the Afghan military said on Friday.
The claims have not been independently verified but ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in Thursday’s massive blast that targeted a network of cave sand tunnels.
“No civilian has been hurt and only the base which Daesh used to launch attacks in other parts of the province, was destroyed,” Waziri said in a statement.
The huge bomb, delivered via an MC-130 transport plane, has a blast yield equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, and the weapon was originally designed as much to intimidate foes as to clear broad areas.
“The GBU-43/B is the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat,” Air Force spokesman Colonel Pat Ryder said.
Achin district governor Esmail Shinwari said the bomb landed in the Momand Dara area of Achin district.
“The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen. Towering flames engulfed the area,” Shinwari told AFP.
“We don’t know anything about the casualties so far, but since it is a Daesh (IS) stronghold we think a lot of Daesh fighters may have been killed.”
Nangarhar, which borders the Pakistan, is the breeding ground of the IS militancy. The US has conducted a number of air strikes on jihadist in the area since August of last year.
IS, notorious for its reign in Syria and Iraq ahs been making inroads to Afghanistan in last years. It has attracted disaffected members of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek Islamists.
But US air strikes and ground offensive led by Afghan forces has been affecting heavily to the group resulting them losing the territory.