'Mother of all Bombs' kills 36 ISIS militants, afghan officials say

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A strike by the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military killed 36 Islamic State group militants and left no civilian casualties, hitting a tunnel complex in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.

USA military officials told CNN a GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) was dropped on ISIS positions in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistan border.

The US military on Friday defended its decision to drop the its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS positions in Afghanistan, describing it as a "tactical" move.

The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, said in a statement Thursday that it was the "right munition" to use to destroy the militants' network of tunnels in the area.

Ms. Warren demanded to know why the "Mother of All Bombs" was dropped in the region.

"This is the first time we have encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress that was constituted by I.E.D.s, the presence of tunnels and caves, and therefore this was the appropriate weapon to use at this time", Nicholson said during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan.

While talking to reporters on Thursday at a Salem town hall, the MA senator said, "We're all trying to understand".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Thursday that the goal was to destroy a system of tunnels and caves that the IS in Afghanistan "used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target United States military advisers and Afghan forces in the area". No civilians were affected by the explosion, the ministry said.

The group has established a small stronghold in eastern Afghanistan and launched deadly attacks on the capital, Kabul.

The huge bomb, delivered via an MC-130 transport plane, has a blast yield equivalent to 11 tons of TNT. "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete".

Some locals welcomed the strike.

The official said General Nicholson wanted to demonstrate to leaders of the IS affiliate in Afghanistan the seriousness of his determination to eliminate the group as a military threat. "If America wants to eliminate Daesh, it is very easy because they created this group".

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The hateful messages included "Hitler was right", a swastika and an "SS" symbol spray-painted on the building's exterior.

Wali said dozens of other villagers also came out of homes and later he went near the border, where he met with other residents.

On Friday, the village was swarming with Afghan and global troops, as helicopters and other aircraft flew overhead.

President Ashraf Ghani threw his support behind the bombardment.

The MOAB was developed during the Iraq war and was never used after testing, due to concerns of mass civilian casualties.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai condemned the attack stating it was not used in a fight against terrorists but the country of Afghanistan. The rocky landscape is dotted with caves and defensive tunnels, making it easy to hold and hard to attack, according to Nic Robertson, CNN's global diplomatic editor, who has reported from the Afghan mountains.

The Massive Ordnance Air Burst bomb, or MOAB, has attracted enormous attention.

The Air Force estimates each MOAB costs about $170,000 to build.

It was the first time for the US military to use the MOAB, its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, which was developed for only nine weeks in 2003 for the Operation Iraqi Freedom and to put pressure on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to stop fighting against the coalition.

"Still, from a strategic standpoint, there is an unsettling takeaway here: the United States pulled off a huge shock and awe mission against an enemy that isn't even the top threat to the U.S. in Afghanistan".

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

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the loyalists of the terror group have suffered heavy casualties in the airstrike as it insisted on close coordination between the Afghan forces and the foreign based in Afghanistan.

Thursday's explosion reverberated for miles and engulfed the remote area in towering flames, destroying what officials called a network of underground IS tunnels and caves that had been mined against conventional ground attacks.

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