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Posted: April 14, 2017

Afghan official: 36 ISIS fighters killed by ‘MOAB’

USAF/Getty Images
A Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon like this one was dropped in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The massive bomb dropped by U.S. forces on an ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan killed 36 militants, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

>> Read more trending news

The GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, also known as MOAB and dubbed the “mother of all bombs,” destroyed three underground tunnels but did not hurt any civilians, CNN reported. The 30-foot-long, 21,600-pound bomb is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. military arsenal, capable of destroying an area equal to nine city blocks. It was dropped in the Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border, CNN reported, adding that it was the first time the bomb had been used in conflict.

>> Read: What is the ‘mother of all bombs, and what does it do?

A local resident living within two miles of the explosion told CNN that he heard an "extremely loud boom that smashed the windows of our house."

"We were all scared and my children and my wife were crying. We thought it had happened right in front of our house," he said.

President Donald Trump said Thursday the bombing was "another successful job." It is the third major military action his administration has taken in recent months, following a military raid in Yemen that killed civilians and a U.S. Marine, and last week's surprise strike on a Syrian airfield, CNN reported.

>> Watch: 5 things to know about the MOAB

On Twitter, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani approved of the strike, saying it was "designed to support the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and US forces ... conducting clearance operations in the region."

"Precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties with this air strike," Ghani said.

When asked about Thursday’s use of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb, President Trump did not say whether he gave the approval, CNN reported.

“Everybody knows exactly what happens. So, what I do is I authorize our military,” Trump said.

“We have given them total authorization and that’s what they’re doing.”

Hakim Khan, 50, a resident of Achin district where the attack took place, welcomed the attack on ISIS. 

“I want 100 times more bombings on this group," he told The Associated Press.

 


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