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US 'Mother of All Bombs' Strike in Afghanistan Kills Over 80 Militants

US 'Mother of All Bombs' Strike in Afghanistan Kills Over 80 Militants”

At least 94 Islamic State fighters were killed when the U.S. military dropped America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan, an Afghan official said Saturday.

Ataullah Khogyani, a spokesperson for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said the attack had killed at least four leaders of the militant organisation.

A Ministry of Defense official had said Friday the number of dead could rise as officials assessed the bomb site in Achin district.

The Afghan government said it had worked with the US military to coordinate the bomb strike, a sharp escalation of the USA fight against Islamic State in Afghanistan.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb is pictured in this undated handout photo.

ON the eve of Russian-sponsored Afghan peace talks in Moscow, the USA military has dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb for the first time in combat, on Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar.

The massive bomb was deployed after fighting intensified over the past week and US -backed ground forces struggled to advance on the area, where a USA special forces soldier was killed on April 8. "It was an ear-splitting blast", said Shah Wali, 46, who lives in the village of Goor Gari, 15km from the border with Nangarhar.

"It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield", Nicholson insisted.

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"This was the right weapon against the right target", Gen. John Nicholson, commander for United States forces in Afghanistan, told a press conference.

The Air Force conducted and released video footage of the bomb's final test detonation on March 11, 2003, just days before the US launched its invasion, which successfully removed Saddam from power but led to an unanticipated Sunni Arab insurgency that created a military quagmire and has yet to return Iraq to normalcy. It came a week after he authorized a United States missile strike against a Syrian government air base - the first U.S. strike against the Syrian government in the country's six-year civil war.

In March, US forces conducted 79 "counterterror strikes" against Islamic State in Nangarhar, killing as many as 200 militants, according to the US military command in Kabul. "We're very, very proud of our military", Trump said on Thursday, adding "we have the greatest military in the world, and they've done their job as usual".

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington is "working with the government of Afghanistan and our partners in the region in order to deny any terrorist organization - that includes Al Qaeda as well - a safe haven or any kind of material support on the ground".

'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.

But while that may be the U.S. line, for locals, the sudden bombing adds to the trauma of living in a war zone.

The bombing came only a week after US President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack and China warned of the potential for conflict amid rising US tensions with North Korea. I will say this: "I think China has really been working very hard", he said.

According to CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, "the war in Afghanistan is at its lowest point for the Afghans and their American allies since the Taliban were overthrown in the months after 9/11".



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