Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

The massive GBU-43 bomb also known as "mother of all bombs', dropped by the USA military in Afghanistan, has killed at least 90 Islamic State (ISIS) militants".

Nangarhar officials on Saturday revised the death toll in Thursday night's bombing in Achin district in Nangarhar, stating at least 94 militants had been killed in the incident including four of their top commanders.

The Islamic State group's Aamaq news agency denied that any of its fighters were killed or wounded, citing a source within the group.

The strike targeted a network of fortified underground tunnels that ISIS had been using to stage attacks on government forces in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistan border.

Meanwhile, Afghan authorities on Saturday reported a jump in fatalities from the huge bombing, declaring some 90 Da'ish fighters dead, as US-led ground forces sought to advance on their mountain hideouts.

In addition, said an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the attack also reinforces the message that US President Donald Trump has given his military commanders freer rein than did his predecessor, Barack Obama.

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"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.

"This is the right weapon for the right target", said US General John W Nicholson, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander in Afghanistan.

The commander of the USA forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, defended the use of the bomb and confirmed the target of the strike was the network of tunnels that ISIS fighters use to move around and protect themselves from Afghan and US forces. "What it does is basically suck out all of the oxygen and lights the air on fire", said Bill Roggio, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to Military Times.

But former President Hamid Karzai accused the United States of using Afghanistan as "a testing ground for new and unsafe weapons".

US use of a massive bomb against Islamic State extemists in Afghanistan has proven divisive in the region, winning support from political and military authorities in Kabul but strong condemnations from former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan. "Initially, we thought that a massive quake has hit the area", he said while referring to the day the device was dropped.

Shinwari insisted there were "no military and civilian casualties at all", adding that Afghan commandos and American troops are carrying out clean-up operations in the area. He also said that the operations were being conducted with care taken to prevent civilian casualties. The U.S. forces in Afghanistan, about 8,000-strong, are involved with their Afghan counterparts in military operations against ISIS in the Nangarhar area, as well as against Taliban insurgents operating in the country.

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