JALALABAD, Afghanistan – The death toll from America’s mother of all bombs has nearly tripled, with Afghan officials saying Saturday some 90 Islamic State militants died in the attack.
The US launched GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb in combat for the first time Thursday, hitting IS tunnel network in a remote, rugged area of eastern Nangarhar province.
The unprecedented attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a militant group that is not considered a threat as big as the resurgent Taliban.
The bomb smashed the IS’s remote mountain hideouts, a tunnel-and-cave complex that had been mined against conventional ground attacks, engulfing the remote area in a huge mushroom cloud and towering flames.
“At least 92 Daesh (IS) fighters were killed in the bombing,” Achin district governor Esmail Shinwari told AFP on Saturday.
Nangarhar provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani gave a toll of 90, far higher than the initial toll of 36 IS fighters given by Afghan officials.
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. – APP