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IS death toll hits 90 from huge USA bomb in Afghanistan

22 April 2017

Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said the number of militants killed in an attack by the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the United States military has risen to 94, up from the 36 reported a day earlier.

Known as the "mother of all bombs", or MOAB, the device was dropped on Thursday evening by an MC-130 transport plane, falling in Nangarhar's Achin district. The U.S. unleashed the largest non-nuclear bomb drop ever used in American combat.

"Afghan and foreign troops closely coordinated this operation and were extra cautious to avoid any civilian casualties", it said.

"The number of Daesh [ISIS] fighters killed in the U.S. bomb in Achin district jumped to 94, including four commanders", a Nangarhar Province spokesman told the media on Saturday.

Mr Shinwary had earlier confirmed to the BBC that Afghan special forces, with the help of American air support, had begun anti-IS operations in the area two weeks ago.

No civilians were killed in the explosion, said an official.

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He continued, "It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield".

The bomb smashed their mountain hideouts, a tunnel-and-cave complex that had been mined against conventional ground attacks, engulfing the remote area in towering flames.

"Initially we thought it was an quake, but a day later we came to know that the USA had dropped a bomb in the Afghan side of the territory".

District Gov. Ismail Shinwari said there is no civilian property near the airstrike location.

US President Donald Trump called it a "successful mission" and said that the US military had full authoirisation to attack.

"Our latest reports indicate that four main commanders are among the 94 people killed", Aqa told Stars and Stripes.

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Another Afghan man, 46-year-old Abdul, who lives 3 kilometers from the site, described the thick cloud of dust that formed after the deafening blast.

Speaking to IANS, a top intelligence officer in Kasargode said that around Thursday midnight they got information of Mohammed being killed in the United States military assault.

"This is the right weapon for the right target", said U.S. Gen. John W. Nicholson, NATO commander in Afghanistan, at a news conference.

US and Afghan forces have been battling the Taliban insurgency for more than 15 years.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington is "working with the government of Afghanistan and our partners in the region in order to deny any terrorist organisation - that includes Al Qaeda as well - a safe haven or any kind of material support on the ground".

The Taliban armed group, which is expected to soon announce the start of this year's fighting season, also denounced the bombing.

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