‘Mother of all Bombs’ Kills 36 in Afghanistan
Initial Estimates of US Strike on ISIS-K Position
The first reports after the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was dropped on an ISIS-K position in Afghanistan estimate that 36 Islamic terrorists have been killed.
Afghan officials say that no civilians were injured by the explosion. The strike targeted an ISIS-K tunnel complex in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the Pakistan border.
Both Sky News and the Guardian claimed that 36 ISIS fighters had been killed, but neither gave any sources for this claim. Local sources instead gave vague estimates.
“A Lot of Daesh Fighters May Have Been Killed”
Achin District Governor Esmail Shinwari was quoted as saying:
The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen. Towering flames engulfed the area. We don’t know anything about the casualties so far but, since it is a Daesh stronghold, we think a lot of Daesh fighters may have been killed.
According to the spokesman for the Afghan government, Shah Hussain Murtazawi: “Heavy casualties have been inflicted on the enemy.”
The aim of the strike was to destroy ISIS-K fortifications. General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan said “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive.”
Targeting Strategic Tunnel System
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said:
The GBU is a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon. We targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.