US General: ‘Mother of all bombs’ in Afghanistan purely tactical

Afghan officials today said the US military’s largest non- nuclear bomb killed at least 36 militants and destroyed deep tunnel complex of the Islamic State group. It has ruled out any civilian casualties.

The top US military commander in Afghanistan said on Friday his decision to deploy one of the largest conventional bombs used in combat was done in communication with officials in Washington and was a purely tactical decision. “This was the right weapon for the right target,” General John Nicholson told reporters at a news conference in Kabul. The 9,797-kg GBU-43 bomb was dropped from an MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of the eastern province of Nangarhar bordering Pakistan against a network of tunnels that Afghan and US officials said was being used by militants linked to Islamic State. Afghan officials said 36 fighters loyal to IS were killed.

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