Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Apr 17, 2017,
Apr 17, 2017, 5:03
For four weeks prior to the bombing, Afghan special forces tried to penetrate the area, but they were unsuccessful due to the hard terrain and a belt of improvised explosive devises planted by ISIS fighters, Gen. Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said.
"I chose to get America off my soil", he said.
"The enemy had created bunkers, tunnels and extensive mine fields, and this weapon was used to reduce those obstacles so that we could continue our offensive in southern Nangarhar", said Gen John Nicholson, the most senior U.S. military commander in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Forces did not use the MOAB during the war.
The group also used the tactic in one of its most high profile attacks in Kabul when the Taliban targeted Afghanistan's parliament in January.
The U.S. estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar.
Currently, there have been no reported civilian deaths resulting from the bombing. US forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the USA military, Pentagon officials said.
An initial assessment said 36 militants had been killed.
IS fighters in the tunnels had "come from Pakistan and were persecuting people in the local area", he added.
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Former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army, General Jack Keane (Ret), spoke with Kilmeade & Friends about the decision by the Trump administration to launch an attack in Afghanistan against ISIS by dropping the Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb. "It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield, and it has enabled us to resume our offensive operations".
He said IS targets had been bombed regularly but "last night's bombarding was very powerful. the biggest I have ever seen". He said, "We are very happy and these kinds of bombs should be used in future as well, so Daesh (referring to ISIS in Arabic) is rooted out from here".
"They killed our women, youths and elders sitting them on mines". We have the greatest military in the world and they have done a job as usual.
Trump called Thursday's operation a "very, very successful mission".
Inamullah Meyakhil, spokesman for the central hospital in eastern Nangarhar province, said the facility had received no dead or wounded from the attack.
Afghanistan's former President Hamid Karzai has slammed the government in Kabul over a recent U.S. bombardment of suspected Daesh terrorists, saying allowing the USA military to use its largest conventional bomb in the country was tantamount to treason.
District Gov. Ismail Shinwari said there is no civilian property near the airstrike location.
There was no immediate comment from the Islamic State group or other militants regarding the USA bomb attack. The two militant movements are rivals of each other.
Nicholson said the USA conducted "persistent surveillance over the area before during and after the operation" and that there had been no evidence of civilians hit in the strike. Over the past year they have largely concentrated on thwarting a surge of attacks by the Taliban, who have captured key districts, such as the Helmand province, which American and British troops had fought bitterly to return to the government.