USA dropped the 'mother of all bombs,' killing 36 Islamic State militants

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

On Thursday evening, the US military dropped a GBU-43 or Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb, on an IS cave complex in Achin District, Nangahar Province bordering Pakistan. It hasn't said how much it cost to develop the bomb or how many of them exist.

The US claimed overnight that the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast has been used operationally for the first time in Afghanistan.

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

"Precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties", President Ashraf Ghani said on Twitter, throwing his support behind the bombardment.

It comes only a week after US President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, and as China warned of the potential for conflict amid rising tensions over North Korea.

The bombing drew floods of responses on social media too.

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The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the United States invasion which toppled the Taliban government.

The Taliban, who are expected to soon announce the start of this year's fighting season, also condemned what it called "America's heavy use of weapons on Afghanistan".

The Pentagon has released footage of the moment the biggest non-nuclear bomb to be dropped in combat hit Afghanistan.

The strike was created to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of IS fighters and facilities, the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, which is part of NATO-led Resolute Support said after the strike.

Previous year air strikes by the military coalition caused at least 127 civilian deaths and 108 injuries, up from 103 deaths and 67 injuries in 2015, the United Nations says.

American military officials estimate there are around 600 to 800 Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar, but also in the neighboring province of Kunar.

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