Death toll from ‘mother of all bombs’ in Afghanistan rises to 90 militants, Afghan officials say

Saturday, April 15, 2017
By Paul Martin
15 Apr, 2017

Afghan officials have reported a big rise in the death toll from America’s biggest non-nuclear bomb, nicknamed the ‘mother of all bombs’, announcing that it killed some 90 Islamic State fighters.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) was unleashed in combat for the first time on Thursday. The 21,000-pound (9,525 kg) bomb was dropped in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, which is said to be used by affiliates of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The MOAB, developed during the Iraq war, was never used after testing due to concerns that it could cause mass civilian casualties.

“At least 92 Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS) fighters were killed in the bombing,” Achin district’s governor Esmail Shinwari, told AFP on Saturday.

Nangarhar province’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, reported a death toll of 90, much higher than the initial toll of 36 IS fighters provided by Afghan officials.

Shinwari claimed that there had been “no military and civilian casualties at all,” adding that Afghan commandos and US troops are carrying out clean-up operations in the area.

Although the US Central Command noted that they “took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike,” the weapon’s documented force and the remote location of the blast has led some to question to what degree of accuracy the death toll could be tallied.

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