Donald Trump claims 'mission successful', but IS says 'no casualties'

Officials claim the ‘Mother Of All Bombs' killed 38 IS militants, ruling out any civilian casualties

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump

Jalalabad: The US military's largest non-nuclear bomb killed at least 36 militants as it decimated a deep tunnel complex of the Islamic State group, Afghan officials said yesterday, ruling out any civilian casualties.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb — better known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" — hit IS hideouts in Achin district in eastern Nangarhar province on Thursday. "As a result of the bombing, key Daesh (IS) hideouts and deep tunnel complex were destroyed and 36 IS fighters were killed," the defence ministry said in a statement.

US President Donald Trump had earlier called the mission "very, very successful". The Afghan presidential palace said precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties. The huge bomb 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.

Afghan villagers flee from a village near the site of US bombing in Achin district; (inset) A video grab shows bomb striking ISIS hideouts. Pics/AFP
Afghan villagers flee from a village near the site of US bombing in Achin district; (inset) A video grab shows bomb striking ISIS hideouts. Pics/AFP

Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, is a hotbed of IS militancy. US forces have conducted a number of air strikes on jihadist bases in the area since August last year. IS, notorious for its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into Afghanistan in recent years.

Voices
Donald Trump, US President
'We are so proud of our military, it was another successful event'

Esmail Shinwari, Achin governor
'The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen. Towering flames engulfed the area'

'IS denies suffering casualties'

Cairo: The Islamic State group denied yesterday it had suffered casualties from the US military's largest non-nuclear bomb, which hit its mountain hideouts in Afghanistan, in a statement on its propaganda agency Amaq. "Security source to Amaq agency denies any dead or wounded from yesterday's American strike in Nangarhar using a GBU-43/B," the group's self-styled news agency said on social media accounts. The MOAB bomb was unleashed in combat for the first time yesterday, hitting IS positions in eastern Nangarhar province.

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