Afghanistan: Massive US bomb kills 36 Islamic State fighters

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

"Two Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS) suicide bombers died following a drone strike in Baandar, an area in Achin district late on Saturday", it said in a statement.

The death toll from America's largest non-nuclear bomb has almost tripled, with Afghan officials saying on Saturday some 90 Islamic State fighters died when the blast smashed their mountain hideout, as USA -led forces began cleanup operations.

"This was the right weapon against the right target", declared American Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said the bomb was dropped at about 7:30 p.m. local time Thursday on a tunnel complex in Nangarhar province, where the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group has been operating.

Deptula, Cancien and U.S. military officials said the United States has an even larger bomb in its inventory - the 14,000-kg GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which would be more effective against North Korea's nuclear test site, given its ability to penetrate reinforced concrete and anti-blast steel doors.

"We are united with the Afghan government to prevent terrorists from establishing safe havens in Afghanistan", Gen Nicholson said.

The U.S. attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed at least four IS group leaders, Khogyani said. An Afghan commando stands guard at Pandola village, near the site of the US forces' bombing in Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, April 14, 2017.

The weapon used was known officially as a GBU-43B or massive ordnance air blast weapon (MOAB) and unleashed 11 tons of explosives on the area.

But former president Hamid Karzai on Saturday criticised both the Afghan and USA governments for the attack in Nangarhar.

Afghan officials said Saturday that 94 militants were killed in a massive US bomb blast targeting Islamic State's regional affiliate, almost three times as many as was reported a day earlier.

USA forces and Afghan commandos are seen in Asad Khil village near the site of a US bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 17, 2017.

There are under 1,000 ISIS fighters in eastern Afghanistan. United States and Afghan forces had been unable to advance because ISIS - which has expanded into Afghanistan in recent years - had mined the area with explosives.

Gen. John Nicholson, inquired about the main motives, clarified the new approach taken by the U.S armed forces to tackle the extremely hard chase of terrorists in remote mountainous areas of eastern Afghanistan.

The blast occurred when the passengers were travelling from remote Nawa district to the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

Such aircraft can carry as much as 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of bombs, missiles, or other weapons on each mission.

"The district chief and others are out of danger and are not in life-threatening condition", he said.

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