The US military on Thursday dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat, targeting an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb - better known by its nickname, the "Mother Of All Bombs" - hit a tunnel complex at 7:32 pm (1502 GMT) in Achin district in Nangarhar province, US Forces Afghanistan said in a statement. US President Donald Trump called the mission "very, very successful."
The huge bomb, delivered via an MC-130 transport plane, has a blast yield equivalent to 11 tons 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." General John Nicholson, who heads US Forces Afghanistan, described the weapon as the "right munitions" to reduce IS obstacles and maintain the momentum against jihadists in the region.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2017